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EYECAN Newsletter – November 2021

Hello once again to all friends of EYECAN.

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

EYECAN has been very busy since we last sent you a letter, so I am taking this opportunity to bring you our latest news.

On two occasions in October, we had the chance to show off our newly refurbished Centre and the range of services we offer. 

EYECAN Solutions, which was hosted at Westlea, was a tremendous success. Rehabilitation Officer, Chris Frost, and Sight Support Officer, Agnetta Nerac, were on hand to demonstrate equipment, ranging from very simple items to higher end technology. Local services also got involved, with stands manned by the Diabetes Retinal Screening Service, the Stop Smoking Service, and a Health Service dietician. My Guide (which provides volunteer mobility support) and the Macular Society, represented charities, with medical supply business, Technicare, also attending. The venue was so well received that future EYECAN Solution events will now take place at Westlea.

We were also delighted to have the opportunity to show Lord Blunkett around the Centre, where he met staff and Committee members. It was such a pleasure to speak with him, he was very down to earth and made everyone feel at ease, taking a real interest in what we do and asking lots of questions. The first thing he did upon arriving was to introduce his guide dog, Marley, to Jenny Stafford’s guide dog, Nan, before asking everyone to call him David.

EYECAN Staff Members standing next to Lord Blunkett

We love it when you get involved and really make the Charity your own, so we were thrilled when EYECAN and Macular Society members, Julie and Pat, stepped forward to raise awareness in the media of the many different ways in which people with sight loss can access books.

Our lovely client, Zena, also volunteered her services, supporting Social and Activity Clubs by demonstrating how to make pottery Christmas tree decorations, and later firing these in her own kiln.

Pottery was one of several new activities enjoyed recently by Social Club members. Poppies have also been made by the wet felting method, whilst outings have included a trip on le Petit Train to St Aubin, and a stroll along St Catherine’s breakwater, with stops for refreshments. A themed day, featuring an abundance of sun hats and real and made flowers, celebrated Summer, with quiche, Eton Mess and Pimm’s on the menu. Also of note were the young saxophonists from the Jersey Academy of Music, who delighted our members with their scintillating repertoire. 

Community clients were also catered for, with outings provided by Wet Wheels, and the Royal Air Squadron, which thrilled several members with a flight around the Island.

landscape image of EYECAN Members standing in front of the white and blue Royal Air Squadron plane

Thanks, as always, must go to our invaluable volunteers for helping to support our members at weekly and annual EYECAN events, and in many other ways besides. You are very much appreciated.

EYECAN has strong links with several charities, including Carers’ Jersey, which recently invited some of our wonderful carers to a Recharger event at the Pomme D’Or, where a meal and luxury treats were enjoyed. Carers often do a great deal without the recognition they deserve, so it was lovely to note such broad smiles in the photos taken on the day.

Close up photo of EYECAN Staff Member, Lisa Pert and Carer's Jersey at a Recharger event at Pomme D'Or

Before I conclude, I must draw your attention to Libertybus’ latest thoughtful initiative, which enables those who can’t drive because of disability, and a companion, to travel free of charge. If you are interested in the Avanchi Access+ scheme, please call Welfare and Advocacy Officer, Sarah Shaw, for further information. 

EYECAN’s fundamental message to you all is very simple – do get in touch if you need our assistance. We want to know about the challenges you face and can advocate on your behalf for positive changes to make life more accessible and inclusive. If practical solutions are required, we may well have the answer. Don’t delay in calling us. We are here to make life easier and more enjoyable for Islanders with sight loss.

Finally, let me take this opportunity, on behalf of everyone at EYECAN, to wish you all a very special Christmas and a happy, stress-free, and healthy New Year.

Onwards and upwards!

With every best wish,

Jane Vincent 

Operations Director