Our Administration and Information Officer Chris Edmead discusses the importance of having Peer Support Groups in East London

Hi all

Just wanted to share with everyone how important Peer Support Groups are and what a great job East London Vision is doing by supporting these groups. I know I might be a bit biased, but I want to share my opinions with you all.

Peer Support Groups help people from feeling isolated, allows people to meet up and have a chat, make friends, helps people to build up their confidence in going out, helps to improve the socialising aspect and also helps with building new skills. Peer Support Groups also help with making vision impaired people become more independent.

This week we had two great days, one going to Southend with one peer support group it was great fun, a day by the beach, the weather was perfect. Lots of different activities took place: fun fair, arcades, the members had fish and chips, buy rocks and fudge. What fun we had, everyone had a great day!

The second one was the East London Vision Sight and Information Day, great to see so many people from the local peer support groups supporting the event. There were cakes and drinks on sale, an auction and various exhibitors including: Waltham Forest Sensory Team, Human Ware, Optelec, Metro Blind Sport, Guide Dogs, Transport for London and of course East London Vision. What a great time was had by all!

Rest of the team have been extremely busy this week too:

Met with staff from Lloyds Banking Group in advance of them volunteering for us.

Held the first East London Vision Sight Information day, where we were supported by Lloyds Banking Group staff as volunteers for the day.

Handed over administration of Redbridge Vision Strategy Group to the Sensory Team.

Attended Stakeholder Group meeting of the Royal College of GPs – regarding the Clinical Priority in Eye Health meeting.

Attended meeting to discuss opportunities to work collaboratively across Barking, Havering and Redbridge with the Vision Strategy Group Chairs.

Attended Southend with Beyond Barriers, it was a really good day out, everyone enjoyed themselves.

Demonstrated the iPhone at the ELVis table, at the Sight and Information Day.

Having provided Vision Impairment Awareness training to the performers, attended the Tether play at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham

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East London Vision (ELVis) is the subgroup for the 7 geographical areas that naturally cover all of east London north of the Thames: • Barking and Dagenham • City and Hackney • Havering • Newham • Redbridge • Tower Hamlets • Waltham Forest. ELVis is designed to provide an effective and efficient way of ensuring that vision impaired people living in East London get the support and services they need. It is an umbrella organisation with voluntary sector, user led representation in each of the east London boroughs. Our vision is that everyone living in East London experiencing, or at risk of, any form of sight loss, receives a high quality service relevant to their need and at a time appropriate for themselves. Our aim is to enhance & link vision impaired services and organisations throughout East London, improving the quality of life for blind and partially sighted people and increasing individual independence.

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