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EYECAN Newsletter – February 2022

Hello once again to all friends of EYECAN. 

We hope you are keeping well, and that life is treating you kindly.

I am very pleased to tell you that, despite the difficulties imposed on work routines by Covid, EYECAN’s efforts to ensure that everyone is supported have been rewarded by a steady influx of new clients. This also reflects greater public awareness of the Charity as increasingly people are learning about us through coverage in the media and by word of mouth. I must thank every one of you who has, in some way, conveyed the news that EYECAN is here to help any Islander with sight loss.

Frustratingly, the pandemic did affect the delivery of some regular events. In particular, the annual Christmas lunch, which had to be cancelled. Nevertheless, some very enjoyable smaller parties were held at Westlea, presided over by a tall and sprightly Santa, and 2 familiar looking elves. This year, on 16th June, to compensate for the cancelled Christmas event, EYECAN will host a belated meal out at St Brelade’s Bay Hotel for Social and Activity Club members. Something to look forward to!

Image of two EYECAN staff members dressed as elves and a volunteer dressed as Santa

Upcoming Events

Two further events are also eagerly awaited:

This year, EYECAN Solutions has been scheduled for the 5th and 6th May.Last year’s event, held at Westlea in October, was such a success that the venue is now a fixture. This important showcasingoccasionprovides opportunity to learn more about established and innovative IT and assistive equipment, as well as the chance to meet staff and discover the full range of EYECAN’s services. There will also be opportunity to meet representatives from UK assistive technology and equipment suppliers. Other supportive organisations with something to offer to those living with sight loss will be in attendance to offer advice. Once again, to ensure you receive the attention you deserve, we’ll be asking you to booka slot for your visit. We shall look forward to seeing you in May, if not before!

AWalk in my Shoeshas been scheduled for 26th June. This annual awareness raising event commemorates Glen Robertson, a former friend of EYECAN, who sadly died due to complications of diabetes, the disease which also caused his sight loss.It was Glen’s wish that people be given the chance to walk in the shoes of someone with impaired sight so that they couldlearn from thatexperience. The event will be held at St Martin’s Parish Green and this year the focus will be on diabetic retinopathy.EYECAN looks forward to being supportedon the day by representatives from the Hospital Diabetes service and the charity, Diabetes Jersey.Participants will be provided with disposable spectacles simulating diabetic sight loss, under which conditions they will undertake various challenges that are designed for all age groups, including a walk around the Green with support from a sighted guide. This event is a lot of fun, but importantly it also enables people to discovermore about the challenges of sight loss, as well as providing preventative advice to anyone at risk of diabetes.

Image of Glen smiling at the camera. He is wearing a blue and white shirt.

Glen Robertson: 31.05.1961 – 28.04.2016.

Social Club Highlights

The artistic achievements of our Club members continue to delight. Handmade wreaths smellingof spicy oranges and pine decorated many of our members’ homes last Christmas, whilst pinecone elves and Santas,and spangled bauble paper plaquesdecorated the shelves at Westlea. Preparations are already in hand for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with metallicsunflowersbeing readied for a display in the Parish of St Martin. Another celebration marked by the Social Clubrecently was Burns Night, with enthusiastic tartan-clad members enjoying uplifting Scottish music and a Caledonian inspired menu.

Image of EYECAN member Carol sitting at a table working on a sunflower template made of wood and painted yellow. She is sticking small mosaics on to the template.

Image of EYECAN member Enid standing up and proudly holding her Christmas Wreath. The green wreath is decorated with red ribbon and red berries with slices of dried orange.

An Update on our Voucher Scheme

EYECAN is pleased to announce that our children’s spectacles voucher scheme will continue until further notice. The scheme has proved popular with the public, with families and carers of children under the age of 8, able to get up to £90 off the cost of their child’s prescription spectacles at participating opticians. The intervention of children wearing corrective glasses before the age of 8 is considered an effective way to correct a child’s sight problems. EYECAN is proud to do what we can to protect our children’s sight for the future.

Carers’ Booklet

Further exciting news is that EYECAN has just produced a booklet about sensory loss, meant for an audience of carers and care providers. This venture, jointly undertaken with the Jersey Deaf Society, will enable anyone caring for a person, or people, who may have sight or hearing loss, to recognise the signs of sensory impairment and signpost them promptly to appropriate support. In this way we hope to reduce the risk of anyone experiencing the isolation which may result from communication difficulties.

Young or old, EYECAN works hard to ensure that sight support is delivered to Islanders who most need it, and when it matters most.

I look forward to bringing you more news and updates later in the year.

Until then, with every best wish,

Jane Vincent

Operations Director