Contact Spring 2015 newsletter

3 Robin Hood Lane
Surrey SM1 2SW
Spring 2015 Issue 50
50th Anniversary Edition
Chairman’s Message
50th Anniversary Celebration on 13th May 2015
From the archives – the early years
Health and wellbeing
From the archives – first resource centre appeal
News from the Recreation & Leisure Committee
Chloe Smith – Social Group for young people
From the archives – access always an issue?
From the archives – low vision equipment, how times change
Frank Smith – this month’s poem
A short history of Braille
Professional Vision Services Focus Day – 23rd April
SCILL on the road – new Hello Club in Cheam
From the archives – the new Millennium and resource centre
The LEAD Initiative in Surrey – dog awareness programme
From the archives – Restocking the resource centre!
Geranium Day
Changes at the approach to Sutton Station
RBS and Natwest – accessible cards
Regular Events
Useful Numbers
Welcome to the Spring edition of CONTACT magazine. Coincidentally,
this 50th edition also marks the 50th Anniversary of the local association
which began life as Sutton Association for the Blind in 1965. Over the
years, the charity has evolved, from a small organisation administering
grants to individuals in need and has now become a major provider of
sight loss services in Sutton. We hope you find the articles and
information of interest, but there is also a good deal of information on
our website
This edition has been edited by Stephen and the staff team. Comments
and contributions from Sutton Vision members and local partners are
always welcome and may be sent to Stephen at
[email protected] We are always interested to
hear what you think of the newsletter and to receive ideas about
articles for inclusion. Please note that the deadline for the Summer
issue is Thursday 11th June 2015.
YES, Sutton Vision, formerly known as SAB, is 50 years old this year.
Quite a landmark, isn't it? However, Sutton Vision would not be here at
all if it had not been for Kathleen Claridge and a small group of likeminded souls who recognized that more needed to be provided for
visually impaired people in Sutton than was currently being provided by
the Local Authority or other agencies. They had the vision to see that,
with funds raised by the Greater London Fund for the Blind (GLFB), SAB
could supplement the support already given by the Local Authority
through its three Social Workers specifically dedicated to supporting
people with sight loss.
So, in 1965, the Sutton Association for the Blind (SAB) was founded. In
those early days, the SAB Committee, led by Kathleen Claridge, worked
closely with the three Social Workers to discuss and agree where SAB's
funds could be of best use in facilitating the everyday lives of visually
impaired people on a low income. For example, by providing tactile
markings on kitchen equipment, or supplying a large button telephone.
Steadily but surely, SAB Trustees and members came to realize that far
more could, and should, be done for more people with a sight loss than
had hitherto been the case. Thus, we now have a thriving organization
providing a range of services, up to date information, advice and
support, to more and more people, including carers. We are constantly
reaching out into the community and are enjoying excellent working
relationships with other related agencies. For example, the Sutton Eye
Unit and Optometrists.
I have been involved with SAB, and now SV, for many years. Except for
a short break, I have been proud to be Chair of Trustees since 1999. I
have seen the Organization grow from a committee comprising
members prepared to give their time and expertise to improving the
life styles of people less fortunate than themselves, to the Organisation
we see today, employing a Chief Officer and staff, all dedicated to
providing the best possible services to as many people they can identify
who might benefit from what we have to offer. Of course, they could
not achieve what they do, without our invaluable team of volunteers.
I do not have space to list everyone here, but rest assured
that, all those involved at the inception, development and
successful running of Sutton Vision, will be remembered for
their dedication, tenacity and abilities, in realizing the key
objective of filling a large gap in the provision of essential
services and support for people with sight loss.
Eric Kennedy - Chair of Trustees
50th Anniversary Celebration 1965 - 2015
Sutton Vision (formerly Sutton Association for the Blind) will be
celebrating 50 years of service to residents in the London Borough of
Sutton who have sight loss.
We are extremely proud to reach this milestone and invite you to help
us celebrate, reminisce about the past and plan for the future.
On Wednesday 13th May you are welcome to join us at the SCILL Centre,
3 Robin Hood Lane, Sutton, SM1 2SW between 3.00 and 6.00 p.m. for a
celebratory tea. We will be displaying extracts from our archives, and
if you have any special memories that you would like to be included,
please contact Andrea.
If you would like to join our celebrations, please let Andrea Dix know by Thursday 16th
April (Tel: 020 8409 7166 or [email protected]) because places are
limited. We look forward to hearing from you.
Andrea Dix
From the Archives – The Early Years:
On the 11th March 1965, Wallington and Carshalton Advertiser reported
on the formation of a Sutton voluntary association to take over the
work formerly done by the county-based Surrey Voluntary Association
for the Blind (now Sight for Surrey). In February 1965, the local
authority’s Chief Welfare Officer, W France, wrote to Harold and
Kathleen Claridge “The Surrey Voluntary Association has given its
intention to withdraw from the area of the new London Boroughs, but
will continue to provide some welfare services until voluntary
associations for the blind have been formed in the new boroughs”. The
steering meeting called to discuss formation took place on 11th March
1965 and forecast the likely income from the Greater London Fund for
the Blind as “approximately £400” (based on a per capita income of 30
shillings for 265 people registered as blind).
Records of the Charity for 19th May 1965 reported that the inaugural
meeting of the Sutton Association for the Blind was held in the Council
Chamber of Wallington Town Hall with 40 people present. Colonel
Wells (in the Chair) and the first Mayor of the new Borough of Sutton,
Alderman A Letts, welcomed guests. Mr A Jay, General Secretary of the
Greater London Fund for the Blind, pledged support in the form of an
annual allocation of funds, noting that the previous year’s fundraising
on behalf of all member organisations had raised £191,000. Kathleen
Claridge was elected to the Executive Committee.
Business at a meeting of the Executive Committee held on 3rd June 1965
included a discussion about an approach made to Sir Billy Butlin for
“out-of-season accommodation for blind people and their guides” and
of the purchase of a showcase to be placed in the entrance of the Town
Hall to display “articles made by the blind”. Holiday grants of £120 had
been paid to various individuals during the year-to-date.
Events in 1965:
15 January - Sir Winston Churchill is reported to be seriously
ill after suffering a stroke. 24 January - Sir Winston Churchill
dies aged 90 at Chartwell, his Kent home of more than 40
years. 30 January – Thousands attend Winston Churchill's
state funeral in London. During the three days of lying-instate, 321,000 people file past the catafalque, and the funeral
procession travels from Westminster Hall to the service at St
Paul's Cathedral, attended by the Queen, Prime Minister
Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries.
We are currently reviewing our services and would like to gauge
interest in the new services we are considering offering to our
We all know how important it is to lead a healthy life style by eating
properly and doing regular exercise and making good lifestyle choices
e.g. not to smoke or to stop smoking. Television and radio are full of
cookery programmes and reports regarding what to eat and what not
to eat and information about the positive impact regular exercise has
on our lives. With this in mind we have identified several opportunities
which you may find interesting and wish to take part.
Tai Chi
I have met a Tai Chi instructor who teaches across Surrey and she would
be willing to start up a class here at Sutton Vision. If there is enough
interest we would look at arranging weekly classes to start in the middle
of April. We have provisionally booked the class for Friday afternoons
from 2.45 pm until 3.45 pm. The maximum number per class will be 6
to 8 people so it would be on a first come first serve basis. There are
many benefits in practicing Tai Chi to achieve health and wellbeing
which include better posture and balance and renewed energy and
vitality to name but a few.
Cooking and Healthy Eating
A person’s diet is important in maintaining good health and preventing
some illnesses. For example antioxidants like vitamin C, Lutein and
Zeaxanthin that are contained in leafy greens may help reduce your risk
of Cataracts and Macular Degeneration. Fibre is a nutrient found in
brown or wholegrain rice, baked beans, almonds, pecans to name but
a few foods which can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help
control blood-sugar swings by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates
into your bloodstream after meals. This helps to lower the risk of
developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes of which 20% of
people go on to develop Diabetic Retinopathy. Rebekah has been in
touch with Blind Aid who have organised a tri-borough project which
includes cooking and healthy eating classes. The classes currently
organised by Blind Aid are for a period of 6 to 8 weeks and participants
choose to attend once or twice a week.
This article is to gauge member’s interest so we can plan how many
classes we may need going forward. People will need to sign up for a 6
week course. You will need to make your own transport arrangements.
Sherwoods Café is open Monday to Friday 9.30 am until 2.00 pm and
offers tea, coffee, sandwiches and light snacks if you require these.
Lorraine Lowther
From the Archives
Resource Centre – First Appeal
During the 1990s, a number of trustees and members of local groups
were involved in a plan to raise funds of £600,000 to acquire premises
from which to operate a resource centre. Sutton Association of the
Blind was reported as having made a contribution of £35,000 towards
the target £600,000. However, the scheme never came to fruition at
that time.
Later in the same month, the Sutton Herald reports that David
Blunkett, then Secretary of State for Education, backs the socalled Way Forward Appeal. The Sheffield MP, was an
acquaintance of twins Jane and Mary Phillips.
It would not be until the new Millennium that the plans would
finally came to fruition, when the board of the newly
incorporated charity obtained space for a resource centre in the
SCILL building at 3 Robin Hood Lane.
News from the Recreation and Leisure Committee
The Recreation and Leisure Committee is an independent and informal
group which promotes sporting and leisure activities in the London
Borough of Sutton. The RLC organises the programme and acts as the
point of contact for participants. Although Sutton Vision supports and
encourages RLC and their activities, members should be aware that any
events organised directly by the RLC are independent of Sutton Vision
and are the responsibility of RLC only. Please contact RLC Committee
members direct if you wish to learn more about the programme or to
book a specific event.
The Recreation and Leisure Committee is proud to present …
Coffee mornings
Our regular coffee morning at Waterstones cafe, 1st floor, in Sutton
High Street, was as usual ,well attended with around a dozen folk
popping in for a chat and a coffee. The staff at Waterstones continue to
give us a warm welcome and friendly service. This group meets on the
first Friday of each month at 10.30. Why not come along, we'd love to
see you.
If you live in the east of the borough, or even if you don't, you might
like to support our new Wallington library coffee morning, held on the
second Wednesday of the month in the library cafe from 10.30. June's
meeting saw 8 of us sitting in the sunshine by the fish pond putting the
world to rights. If you haven't been yet, we look forward to seeing you.
Book Club
Our book club continues to meet at Waterstones on the 4th Monday of
the month at 10.30. We have listened to an eclectic range of books in
the past and look forward to more. The new one click initiative at the
library is very exciting for us as we may now look forward to
professional readers of unabridged books
Pub Social Evenings
These are held on the first Monday evening of the month at The Hope,
West Street, Carshalton.
Pub Lunch
These are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 12 noon onwards
at the Prince of Wales, Malden Road, Cheam.
If you are interested in coffee socials or book club please contact Sue
Christie on 07891 783291 or email [email protected]
If you are interested in local sports activities, why not sign up for Metro
Sport by taking a look at their website
Erica Grimsey and Sue Christie
Events in 1965:
6 February – Sir Stanley Matthews plays his final First Division game, at
the record age of 50 years and 5 days. 16 February – The British
Railways Board (chairman: Richard Beeching) publishes The
Development of the Major Trunk Routes proposing which lines should
receive investment (and, by implication, which should not).
18 February – The Gambia becomes independent from the United
Kingdom. 10 March – Goldie, a London Zoo golden eagle, is recaptured
after 13 days of freedom.
New Social Group for Young People
I'm Chloe Smith and I am planning to start a young people's group in Sutton - with
support from Sutton Vision and Thomas Pocklington Trust. My plan is to bring
young people from Sutton and surrounding areas together, primarily as a social
activity for people to enjoy and to create a social network. My idea is to focus on
young people from 16 to 25, though I would want some flexibility if there is sufficient
Sutton Vision will help with publicity and has offered space in its resource centre for
us to meet, but we would also like to involve other sight loss organisations in the
project, particularly neighbouring ones in Kingston, Surrey, Merton and Croydon. I
plan also to use my contacts in Action for Blind People and the Royal London Society
for the Blind in the project so that the group can draw upon the interests and
programmes offered by other organisations.
If you are interested in hearing more, contact me on
[email protected] Otherwise you can leave a message
with Lorraine ([email protected]) or with Stephen
([email protected]) at Sutton Vision and they will take a
message for me. You can leave a message for me with any of the Sutton Vision team
by calling 020 8409 7166. I look forward to hearing from you.
Chloe Smith
Events in 1965:
18 June – The government announces plans for the introduction of a
blood alcohol limit for drivers in its clampdown on drink-driving. 8
July – Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs escapes from Wandsworth
Prison. 24 July – Freddie Mills, former British boxing champion, is
found shot in his car in Soho. 27 July – Edward Heath becomes leader
of the British Conservative Party following its first leadership election
by secret ballot. 29 July – The Beatles film Help! Receives its premier
in London. 1 August – Cigarette advertising is banned on British
From the Archives: Access Always an Issue?
On 16th September 1998, the Sutton Herald runs a story about David
Stafford, Sutton resident but a St Johnston football fan, who regularly
uses the British Airways shuttle –
accompanied by his guide dog Iris
– to watch his team play in
David, pictured on the tarmac with
two British Airways stewards, says
“I have been flying up to Scotland
regularly for matches and British
Airways always treats us very well.
Iris loves flying and like all guide
dogs is very calm. She can’t wait to
get up the steps, find her seat and
loves the take-off”.
Access is still an issue for people
with a visual impairment today, so
we wonder whether British
Airways was ahead of its time in
terms of making life easy for
passengers. Seventeen years on, perhaps there are still lessons to be
learned for some current providers of public transport services.
Birthdays in 1965:
14th January Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, English chef. 20 January –
Sophie, Countess of Wessex (patron of the Greater London Fund for the
Blind). 27 April – Anna Chancellor, British actress. 17 May – Jeremy
Vine, British BBC radio and television presenter. 7 June – Damien Hirst,
English artist. 15 July – David Miliband (brother of Ed). 31 July – J. K.
Rowling, English author. 1 August – Sam Mendes, English stage and film
2 September – Lennox Lewis, British boxer.
From the Archives
Low Vision Equipment – How Times Change!
With the development of the Resource Centre and as an approved
agent of British Wireless Fund, Sutton Vision
has recognised the value of low vision aids
and audio equipment. From the 1950s to the
1990s, local firm Clarke and Smith made
institutions, some of which was distributed
by the British Wireless Fund for the Blind
through Sutton Association for the Blind.
The equipment produced in the Wallington
factory included television sound
receivers like the one pictured left,
curiously dated in appearance, as
well as tape recorders and record
players, including the famous
‘Ferrograph’ brand. The fund also
distributed radios made locally by
Roberts, including the classic model
from the 1990s pictured right. Together
with its sister charity, Sutton Talking
Newspaper, Sutton Vision continues to
offer accessible news and entertainment
in audio formats and we are happy to
report that STN is expanding the range of
materials available in a wide range of
formats. Times change, of course, and the
cassette tapes equipment known and
trusted by our older members are
becoming obsolete. CDs and USB drives
are now the market leaders and the Clarke
and Smith cassette tape player from the 1950s (pictured left) has
become a quaint museum piece.
This Month’s Poem from Frank Smith!
[Editor’s Note: We are sorry to announce that Frank Smith is moving
away from Sutton in April and is moving to stay with his daughters,
alternating between the South Coast and Northamptonshire. Frank has
been associated with Sutton Vision - serving as a trustee in the early
years and as a telephone contact volunteer right until the present.
Frank has been a consistent presence in the office, offering a listening
ear to Sutton Vision members each week and he’ll be missed by all of
us. Frank tells us that he will continue to keep in touch and we hope
that he will continue to be a contributor to these pages. Thanks to
Frank from all at Sutton Vision and we all wish him well in future.
My Very Good Friend
Everyone needs a good friend
One upon whom you can depend
Someone with good listening ears
Whose advice may calm any fears.
You should meet at your friend’s house
As your concern may be with your spouse.
A cynic may say, ‘Oh! What the heck!’
‘A friend in need is a pain in the neck!’
But some day that cynic may be in need;
Then they will appreciate a friend indeed.
No one person has all the answers.
It’s not like judging Strictly’s dancers
A friend you know you can rely on
Who is ready to give a shoulder to cry on.
Whatever the problems with which you contend,
It is nice to know you have a really good friend.
Frank Smith, March 2015
A Short History of Braille
This system of writing and reading used by many blind people was
invented almost 200 years ago by Louis Braille. While several types of
written communication systems were tried during a ten-year period
beginning in 1825, the one invented by a blind teenager (Braille) was
adopted. Some modifications have been made to it over the years but
the Braille code in use today is virtually the same as it was in 1834.
However writing braille was a cumbersome process. Braille writers
created braille characters with a stylus and slate or by using one of the
complex, expensive, and fragile braille writing machines available at the
In 1951 the original Perkins Brailler was produced David Abraham
(1896–1978), a woodworking teacher at the Perkins School for the
Blind. The Perkins Brailler is a "braille typewriter" with a key
corresponding to each of the six dots of the braille code. In 2008, a
lighter and quieter version was developed and launched. It also
includes an erase key and an integrated carrying handle. In 2012 the
SMART Brailler was invented by David S Morgan and uses text-tospeech audio feedback and a digital display for both sighted and blind
individuals to communicate, teach and learn braille together. Teachers
in a mainstream classroom can see what their students are brailling
through the digital display. The SMART Brailler is available in more than
ten languages.
With the advent of computers, many users create braille output using
a computer and a braille embosser connected to the computer. Visually
impaired users can read the computer screen by using screen reader
computer software and/or braille displays. Users of such a system can
use a computer keyboard in the standard way. Whilst Sutton Vision
does not yet have a PC connected embosser, our colleagues at See
Ability in Leatherhead have a brand new system set up in their IT suite.
To find out more about the latest technology available, visit our
resource centre at Robin Hood Lane or talk to Vanessa Valentine (Tel:
020 8409 7166, Email: [email protected] ).
Vanessa Valentine
Professional Vision Services:
Low Vision Focus Day
PROFESSIONAL VISION SERVICES, in association with Sutton Vision, will
be holding a FOCUS DAY here at Sutton Vision on Thursday 23rd April
2015 between 10am – 2.30pm. If you are interested in attending please
phone Vanessa on 0208 409 7166 to make an appointment - Please see
enclosed a flyer with details of Professional Vision Services and the
products that will be on show.
Vanessa Valentine
A new group has started – you are invited to meet up with others in
your community for refreshments and a chat plus quizzes, chair based
exercise, speakers and more as decided by the group.
The group meets on Mondays from 10.00 am – 12.00 pm in the
Community Hall, Church Road, Cheam, SM3 8QH (on the left of Cheam
Library by St Dunstan’s Church). We hope you enjoy the group.
Ruth Overton
From the Archives:
The New Millennium and the Resource Centre
The Annual Report for 2001 includes information on the development
of the resource centre – housed within the SCILL Centre – in the
previous year. Eric Kennedy, Chairman,
reports that the new centre was
officially opened at a ceremony
attended by Paul Burstow MP ably
assisted by a certain ‘young Chloe
Smith’ (then aged 7 years).
interesting and gratifying to note that
both individuals continue in their
support for Sutton Vision. Though
Chloe celebrated her 21st this year and
is much taller than in the photograph,
Paul Burstow is instantly recognisable
and showing no signs of reducing his
work in support for the local VI
community. The Chairman’s report also
announces the intention to seek
charitable funds to support a paid
development worker to develop
services and expand the number of
members, an aim which was soon to be
realised with the appointment of Barbara Duncan as Development
Manager and subsequently Chief Officer.
LEAD initiative in Sutton:
Local Environmental Awareness on Dogs (LEAD) is a police-led
initiative founded in the London Borough of Sutton in South
West London, to encourage responsible dog ownership of all
breeds of dog. It seeks to provide advice to the public on dog
issues, improve dog safety and dog welfare and deal with anti16
social and inconsiderate behaviour by individuals with dogs in
a way that protects and reassures the public. It is aimed at all
dog owners in Sutton whether in private or rented
accommodation. This work is being promoted through regular
dog roadshows, engagement with dog owners during regular
patrols and through day-to-day contact with owners of dogs
that come to police attention.
To achieve this local police are working closely with partner
agencies, which include Sutton Council, all Registered Social
Landlords like Sutton Housing Partnership and Roundshaw
Homes, the RSPCA and the Riverside Animal Centre, which is
based in Beddington Park, Sutton. Annual surveys of local
residents highlight issues concerning dogs, such as nuisance
dogs and dog fouling which are high on the list of concerns
among residents in the Borough.
Changes in legislation mean that if a dog attacks an assistance
dog then its owner will have committed an offence under the
Dangerous Dogs Act. If the dog injures the assistance dog then
its owner will be liable for prosecution and face a maximum
sentence of three years in prison.
LEAD is aimed at tackling the concerns of local residents and
PC Heath Keogh is happy to visit Sutton Vision to address the
concerns of Sutton Vision members alarmed at the growing
number of attacks on Guide Dogs.
Deaths in 1965:
4 January – T. S. Eliot, American-born writer, Nobel Prize laureate (born
1888). 28 January – Tich Freeman, English cricketer (born 1888)
23 February – Stan Laurel, British actor (born 1890).
From the Archives:
Restocking the Resource Centre!
Nine years after the development of the resource centre at
Robin Hood Lane, on 25th March 2010, the Sutton Guardian
carries a story on grant of £2,000 awarded by the Gannett
parent company’s
charity) towards the
restocking of the
resource centre at
Robin Hood Lane.
The money to be
purchase of a range
including internet
radios, large-button
telephones, lighting
and talking watches.
trustee, Janice O’Donnell quoted as saying “Life becomes so
difficult when you start losing your sight. You don’t recognise
people in the street and they think you’re being snooty when
you don’t recognise them. When people are diagnosed they
think their lives are over. By coming to SAB people realise they
can start afresh and have a new life”. The proud demonstrator
of the large-button telephone, Bob Churchman (pictured above
left), is still with Sutton Vision running the ever-popular music
appreciation groups.
Sutton Vision continues to receive generous donations from
many people and organisations. Two supporters who funded an
event in 2013 have donated a further £365 this year in support
of our work. The family and friends of a member who recently
passed away sent us £100.00 in her memory. We have also
received donations from members by way of a thank you for the
services we have provided.
Rebekah and member Tracy, accompanied by her guide dog
Urwin, addressed the children at Manor Park Primary School.
They spoke about visual impairment; the equipment VI people
use to assist them and the importance of a healthy diet and
regular eye tests. Resources were shown to the children and
they thoroughly enjoyed meeting Urwin. Tracy spoke about the
training and life with a guide dog. The children kindly nominated
Sutton Vision as their chosen charity and sent a very generous
cheque for £328.00 towards our funds.
Two organisations nominated Sutton Vision to be the recipient
for fund raising events, Cheam Townswomen’s Guild sent a
cheque for £175.00 and The After 8 Club, who meet at
Christchurch with St Philip, sent a cheque for £180.00.
We appreciate all this support and thank everyone for their
kindness and generosity.
Geranium Day is Friday 15th May 2015!
Are you able to help us?
If you are able to collect for one or two hours in the morning or
afternoon in Sutton High Street for Geranium Day it would really be
appreciated. Please contact Lorraine at the office on 020 8409 7166
or email [email protected]
The Greater London Fund for the Blind (GLFB) was formed in 1921 by Sir
Arthur Pearson who was also founder of both the Daily Express and the
national charity St Dunstan’s in 1915 (which is now known as Blind
Veterans UK) for soldiers blinded by war. Sir Arthur had glaucoma and was
blind. Just before he died he organised a “Geranium Day” appeal in
London to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by blind and partially
sighted people living with sight loss.
Today the GLFB is a fundraising organisation and funds the work of its nine
member charities of which Sutton Vision is a member. GLFB reserves a
third of its income to make special grants to other local charities and
organisations which request financial assistance from the GLFB e.g. “Blind
in Business” an organisation working with two hundred employers to help
raise the hopes and ambitions of visually impaired people to be treated at
interviews and in jobs on the same level as sighted people. The other eight
member organisations of GLFB are as follows: Blind Aid (formerly
Metropolitan Society for the Blind, CLARITY, Croydon Vision, KingstonUpon-Thames Association for the Blind, Merton Vision, Middlesex
Association for the Blind, SeeAbility and Sight for Surrey.
The funds received from the GLFB by these organisations enable them to provide a
range of services which include training and employment programmes, advice
about equipment and facilities and support from the point of diagnosis through the
entire rehabilitative process for adults, children and people with dual sensory loss.
This information is taken from the GLFB website . So, if you can
please help us to collect for GLFB on Friday 15th May 2015 we would be happy to
hear from you.
Improvements around Sutton Station
The area around Sutton station is undergoing some changes. Although
the works are currently taking place, with all the clutter that goes with
that, when they are finished the changes will improve the look and
functioning of the streets and public transport. The improvements
include creating more space for pedestrians with wider footways and
pedestrian crossings, re-paving, and improving the arrangement of bus
services. There will also be a new civic clock, and improvements to shop
fronts to smarten the area. Overall there will be a more positive and
uplifting ‘welcome to Sutton’. The works are being delivered in
partnership between Sutton Council, Transport for London, Network
Rail and Southern Railway and were developed in discussion with
stakeholders in 2014. There are some changes to layout in the area.
1. Bus stops around the station
Instead of the bus stops being clustered near to the station, they have
been spread out to make it easier and safer for passengers and bus
movements. Southbound bus stops are now spread out. One stop
outside the station (buses 420, 280, 80, S1, S3) and in The Quadrant
(164, N44), remains. The southbound bus stop for the S4 and the 470
is now in Mulgrave Road, opposite the shops. The National Express
coaches now go from The Quadrant bus stop.
Northbound bus stops have changed. The stops for the S3, 280, 164
and 80, are now south from the railway station, near to the Ocean Fish
Bar (opposite the junction with The Quadrant). To get to these stops
from the station, go left as you exit the main entrance, pass over the
bridge and cross at the pedestrian crossing. You can also use the newly
opened side entrance to the station (see below). The northbound bus
stop for the S4 and the 470 is in Mulgrave Road, next to the shops.
2. Pedestrian crossings
The controlled pedestrian crossing which was outside the station is now
south of the station. This lines up with the new bus stops. There is an
informal crossing directly outside the station, and in Mulgrave Road,
with a pedestrian refuge and different coloured paving on the road.
3. Side entrance to the station
There is now pedestrian, including disabled, access to the station from
the side entrance – from Brighton Road follow the walkway behind the
cycle parking. This entrance is open 5.30-6am – 10.30-11pm. If you are
travelling north by bus from the station the side entrance lines up well
with the new bus stops. It leads directly to the new pedestrian crossing,
and also avoids the main entrance which gets very busy at rush hour.
More detailed information about the improvements is provided at
Hermione Brightwell, London Borough of Sutton
RBS and NatWest launch accessible cards for
partially sighted and blind customers
In the UK alone there are over 2 million people living with sight loss
making lots of everyday tasks, including banking, difficult and
frustrating. Following feedback from a partially sighted customer, RBS
and NatWest have introduced a new accessible debit card.
The new debit and savings cards feature Braille, a notch to help identify
the card and a large print phone number. RBS and NatWest are now
launching new accessible debit and savings cards which have been
specifically designed for blind and partially sighted customers.
To address some of the common problems that blind and partially
sighted customers face, the cards will:
feature Braille markings to identify which card is savings and
which card is debit
have a notch cut out on the right hand side of the card to help
customers insert their card into ATMs and PIN pads correctly
show telephone numbers where they will be most clear
have large font on the back of the card to make the phone
numbers easier to read
RBS and NatWest’s new cards can initially help their 15,000 customers
registered as blind or partially sighted. All other features of the card
remain the same – this card can be used in ATMs, at point of sale and
for Contactless transactions home or abroad. The cards can be ordered
in all RBS and NatWest branches, online or through telephone banking
and will be issued within 48 hours.
Regular Dates
For information on any of these activities please call 020 8409 7166:
Hello! Club (New Every Monday
10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Church Road, Cheam
(On left of Cheam
Dunstan’s Church)
Hello! Club
Every Thursday
10:00 am -12.00 noon
St Philip,
Worcester Park
Social Eyes
Thursdays SCILL Centre, Robin
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Hood Lane, Sutton
Pub Social
1st Monday evening of the The Hope, West St,
Music Group
2nd Monday of the month SCILL Centre, Robin
12.15 – 2.30 p.m.
Hood Lane, Sutton
Reminiscence & 3rd Monday of the month
Poetry Group
12.15 – 2.30 p.m.
SCILL Centre, Robin
Hood Lane, Sutton
Useful Telephone Numbers
GPO telephone circa 1965
The following list of useful numbers
includes an emergency number for the
London Borough of Sutton and Sutton Eye
RNIB/Action for Blind People Helpline
London Borough of Sutton
First Contact
Pension & Benefits
Sutton Eye Unit
Macular Society (National)
Sutton Group
Age UK (Sutton)
Sutton Carers Centre
Citizens Advice Bureau (Sutton)
Sutton Talking Newspaper
Sutton Vision
The Friendly Club
0303 123 9999
020 8770 5000
020 8770 4337
020 8687 3621
020 8296 4364
01264 350 551
020 8661 1886
020 8770 4090
020 8296 5611
020 8405 3552
020 3759 6679
020 8409 7166
020 8669 4106
GPO telephone – circa 1964
Charity No. 1092429
Company No. 4388249