This issue focuses on activities that can be done from the comfort and safety of our own homes. Hopefully there will be something here to interest you and help you get through these winter months!
The Social Room
This is a telephone-based service run by HSB, where local people with sight loss can socialise, support each other and take part in various activities.
New group members are welcome, just phone Lucy on 07458 302903 to sign up.
Joining instructions can be provided in a format to suit you.
- Zoom Group (11am) See below for more details.
- Coffee Shop (1pm) Come along for a sociable chat – bring your own brew! We usually chat for about an hour, but you are welcome to drop in and out when you like
- Fun and Games (1pm) Quizzes and games for a brain workout – it’s just for fun though, you don’t have to be an egghead!
- Well-being Wise (2.30pm) Supporting each other to look after our mental and physical wellbeing, through group chat and regular guest speakers
- Fun and Games (11.30am) Quizzes and games for a brain workout (a repeat of Wednesday’s session)
- Chairobics (10am) A 15-20 minute gentle exercise session, done while seated. Suitable for all ages and abilities
- Literature Live! (1.30pm) Short stories, poems, anecdotes, jokes on different themes each week – just listen in or join in and share your own, it’s your choice!
Focus on the Zoom Group
Different activities are run each week on Zoom, including guest speakers, quizzes, information, chat and workshop sessions. This is a friendly group and new members are always welcome, just reply to this email or phone Lucy on 07458 302903.
If you’re not sure about the technical side of using Zoom, please give the HSB office a ring and they will support you to access the sessions.
- 26th January – Coffee & Chat
- 2nd February – ‘South Africa, a country of contrasts’. Lucy talks about her trips to South Africa in 2012 and 2017.
- 9th February – Quiz and games session
- 16th February – ‘Humour’. Share your favourite jokes, funny stories, poems etc. – laughter is the best medicine!
‘Well Sung’ Community Singing Group
Do you love to sing? Everybody is welcome to join this FREE and ONLINE community singing project. No auditions, no previous experience needed, no requirement to read music, just singing that’s good for your well-being.
The sessions will be focusing on breathing techniques and mindfulness and then a “singalong” with some popular and some classic songs, all from the comfort of your own home via Zoom. The sessions run on Fridays, from 1:30 to 2:30pm.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Action for Happiness
Check out the Action for Happiness website for lots of good ideas to help improve your physical and mental well-being. There are information pages, downloadable calendars with simple ideas to do each day, free talks from speakers on a wide variety of subjects, and details of local support groups (all run online at the moment). Action for Happiness also have their own app – search for it on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Youtube has a huge variety of channels to suit every interest. Here are a few recommendations:-
Eyes Free Fitness – This channel has a wide selection of fitness videos for all abilities, from gentle stretching to high intensity workouts, all described in an accessible way for people with visual impairments. There are also some interesting information videos on a range of fitness and health related subjects.
History Buffs – This channel is dedicated to reviewing historical films and investigating how historically accurate they are (or aren’t!). Ever wondered how much a film is based on a true story? This is the place to find out!
Mel’s Blind Life – Here is Mel’s description of her channel – ‘I am a young lady, living in rural Australia with my Guide Dog Penny, pet lab and retired Guide Dog Darcy, two cats and a horse. On this channel I would like to share how I get through every day as an independent woman with a different ability and little to no help. I want to share how I do everything from cooking and looking after my pets to navigating the world with my Guide Dog and going riding.’
TED Talks – The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, but the talks cover a huge range of subjects including science, business, global issues, the arts and more. One of my favourite talks is by the late Sir Ken Robinson, click here to listen.
To access these channels and more, visit www.youtube.com and search for the channel name. If you like the channel, you can click ‘Subscribe’, then you can return to it again by visiting the ‘Subscriptions’ page.
Free Talking Book services from RNIB and Calibre
- Calibre provide a free talking book service for anybody with a print disability (which includes people with sight loss). They have a library of over 11,500 audiobooks, which can be listened to by streaming from their website, or downloading them to a phone or tablet and listening via the Dolphin EasyReader app. If you have an audiobook player and would prefer to use this, they can post the book to you on a memory stick. Click here to visit Calibre’s website.
- The RNIB Reading Service has a growing collection of 30,000 books to borrow, download and listen to on your smartphone, tablet, computer or other reading device. You can choose from a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles for both children and adults in DAISY audio. The RNIB work closely with publishers to bring you the latest releases, many of which come from the highly-regarded ‘Audible’ brand. Click here to register for the RNIB’s service.
HSB can offer you advice and support with obtaining a suitable audiobook reader and accessing these services, just give the HSB office a ring on 01422 352383 and one of their Sight Support Advisors will be happy to help.