Online Support Sessions

Image says 'Visionary Online Sessions' and shows a network of people connected through a webinar. There are 3 people in a circle connected to a person on a computer screen as well as 3 people on the right and 3 on the left.

In response to our members and what you want to see, we have developed a programme of online support and training sessions. You will find the current programme and joining information below.

Missed any of our previous sessions?

Catch up on any sessions you have missed, including any recordings and resources shared.

These sessions are free to Visionary members

We would like to remind you that most of our sessions are open to your staff, volunteers and Trustees, not just CEOs so please do share details of these sessions with your teams.

Subscribe to mailings

If you would like to receive weekly mailings of the online sessions and hear about new and upcoming sessions, subscribe here. We will also send you our fortnightly briefings with news and events.

Register for online sessions

All online sessions are on Zoom so you need to pre-register by clicking on the title of the session below. This will only take 1 minute and you can even do it just 2 minutes before the session! If you have previously registered for any of our regular sessions, there is no need for you to register again, just use the same joining link, i.e. if you have registered for the CEO weekly support session, you do not need to register for future CEO weekly support sessions. However, you will need to register if you wish to join a different session, such as the Trustees forum. If you have any concerns or problems with joining any of our events or would like a reminder of your joining details for a session, please do just get in touch by email or call 0208 090 9264.

New series of specialist sessions

We have a series of new specialist sessions for our wonderful members:

  • Legal series with legal experts from RNIB
    • Understanding disability discrimination (took place 22 April)
    • Understanding community care (took place 20 May)
    • Overview of welfare benefits to support people living with sight loss, 24 June
  • Make it matter series exploring diversity and inclusion
    • Make it Matter: Successfully engaging blind and partially sighted people of working age, 29 June
    • Make it Matter: Engaging BAME communities, 7 July

See below for further details.

Schedule of online sessions

Monday 21 June *New session* (Note: postponed and new date to be confirmed)
New CEOs session
In addition to our regular Tuesday morning CEO session, we are inviting CEOs who have been in post for less than 18 months to come and join us to talk about how it is for you so far. Whether you are coming out of the honeymoon stage or still in it, regardless of whether this is your dream job or a living nightmare you can’t wait to escape, we want to hear from you. Come along and bring a cuppa –  have a laugh or a cry! Whatever frame of mind you are in, it is good to share your experiences with other folks in a similar situation to you. This is a first for us – come along and see how it goes. If it is good we will do it again, if it isn’t we won’t!

Note: Numbers are limited, so book your place as soon as you can!

Tuesday 22 June and followed by 29 June, 6, 13, 20 and 27 July, 10am to 11am
(weekly every Tuesday at 10am)
CEO weekly support session
Our regular session for CEOs will be hosted by Visionary’s own Chief Executive, Fiona Sandford. Some sessions will be open sessions with no agenda and others themed sessions. Dates and details of themed sessions to be confirmed.

Thursday 24 June and followed by 8 and 22 July, 10am to 11am (fortnightly)
Operating a sight loss charity during COVID-19
An opportunity to simply discuss anything related to operating your organisation during these COVID-19 affected times. Recent discussions have covered vaccines and handling staff/volunteers/service users who aren’t vaccinated, COVID-19 testing in the workplace and the health and safety assessments needed when opening the office or delivery centre. The session is open to any staff member or trustee of a Visionary member, so do consider joining the session and exploring issues together. And the session continues to be supported by experts on HR, Health and Safety and legal matters. Click on the link above to register. No need to submit questions or queries in advance, just turn up on the day with them – however if you’d rather ask them confidentially or simply have a more urgent query then please email Visionary. Also visit the Visionary website for resources.

Thursday 24 June, 1pm to 2pm (monthly)
Children, Young People and Families Peer Support Forum
This new monthly forum, provides an informal space to share ideas and experiences of developing and delivering services for Children, Young People and Families. We know this is a important area of service delivery which can also be emotionally challenging. This forum will provide a safe space to share concerns, challenges, successes, ideas and gain support from your colleagues across the Visionary members.

Thursday 24 June, 2pm to 3pm *New session*
Overview of welfare benefits to support people living with sight loss
This session offers an overview of the range of welfare benefits that someone living with sight loss may qualify for, with a deep dive into Personal Independence Payment (PIP), how to access benefits and when and where your service users can get help with challenging a negative decision.

This session will be delivered by RNIB’s Legal Rights Officer, Dominic Mile.

Tuesday 29 June, 2pm to 3pm *New session*
Make it Matter: Successfully engaging blind and partially sighted people of working age
Do you want to engage with more blind and partially sighted people of working age in your area?
Liam O’Carroll from London Vision will share learning from their Working Age Forum, a career focused network for adults in London with sight loss to share experiences and develop skills. Liam will talk about how the group was set up, how they reached working age people, and how it has grown into a successful co-produced forum. There will also be plenty of opportunity for questions.

This is part of the Make it Matter series, exploring diversity and inclusion.

Thursday 1 July, 10.30am to 11.30am (monthly)
Tech forum
In July’s forum, we will dedicate 15 minutes of the session to discussing Goodmaps, a new navigation app which allows inside mapping. We will hear from Neil Bamfather of Goodmaps who will give us a brief talk and answer all your questions. The forum is open to any Visionary member/staff and will be facilitated by Mark Owen and David Quarmby of Kirklees Visual Impairment Network.

Thursday 1 July, 1pm to 2pm (monthly)
Fundraisers forum
Aimed at fundraisers of all levels, this forum will provide fundraisers with a platform to collaborate and share ideas to benefit local sight loss organisations. The group will discuss what has worked and what hasn’t, new fundraising ideas and opportunities as well as successful campaigns and marketing pitches. The session will be facilitated by Sue Piper, Head of Fundraising at Kent Association for the Blind.

Wednesday 7 July, 2pm to 3pm *New session*
Make it Matter: Engaging BAME communities
Led by Jamal Abdullah of Bradbury Fields Services for Blind and Partially Sighted People in Liverpool, this session will explore existing barriers people from BAME backgrounds face in accessing local sight loss services, and how your organisation can start to address these to develop more diverse and inclusive provisions. We will also hear from Bhavini Makwana, Engagement Manager at London Vision and Co-Chair of BAME Vision Committee, who will share her personal experience. A huge thank you to Ronak Gosia of Sight Support Derbyshire for his contribution to the session content.

This is part of the Make it Matter series, exploring diversity and inclusion.

Monday 12 July, 1pm to 2pm (monthly)
Finance Forum
A regular opportunity for all involved in the financial management and oversight in their organisations to simply connect, share and develop. This forum is more about the how you manage finances i.e. accounting, practical budget management, cash flow, financial systems/software used etc. Experienced in financial management but new to charity accounting? Then simply come along and discuss with others queries from how to monitor restricted income spend to the charity SORP.

Tuesday 13 July, 1pm to 2pm (monthly)
Middle Managers Peer Support Forum
This *new* monthly peer support forum is for members of the Visionary networking working in middle manager and supervisory roles to meet, share experiences and support each other.

Members have expressed that sometimes they feel they would like to talk to people outside of their teams for support, advise, to talk through challenges and celebrate our successes. The aim of this forum is to create a safe and informal space to share thoughts, challenges and ideas. Sessions may be themed, others an open agenda. We can evolve the forum to be whatever people find most helpful. The forum will be facilitated by Amy Pearman, our Communications and Events Lead. If you have any questions or comments, please email Amy.

Tuesday 13 July, 4pm to 5pm (monthly)
Trustees forum
We’re improving the format of the Trustees Forum – our monthly online session for Visionary members trustees. For the first 30 minutes of forums we will be working through the Charity Governance Code. For the rest of the session we will as usual discuss any matters trustees wish to bring up. As a sector, we owe it to our beneficiaries, stakeholders and supporters to demonstrate exemplary leadership and governance. The Charity Governance Code is a practical tool to help trustees achieve this.

Each session is “stand alone” – so not a problem if you aren’t able to attend some sessions – as we will guide attendees through each session. We will also remind all registered attendees in advance of each forum the focus for that session. The style of the sessions will be about encouraging trustees to share their experiences and reflect upon the issues discussed. So regardless of whether you feel your charity has it sorted or not, your involvement will be very welcome in supporting other trustees of local sight loss charities.

Wednesday 21 July, 10am to 11am
Blind and Partially Sighted Peer Support Forum
This monthly peer support forum is for blind and partially sighted staff working at all levels in the sight loss sector to meet, share experiences and support each other. We want the session to be an informal and safe space where people feel comfortable to be open and honest. The forum will be facilitated by Lucy Williams, Partnership and Innovation Co-ordinator at Visionary who is partially sighted. Some sessions may be themed, others an open agenda. We can evolve the forum to be whatever people find most helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please email Lucy.

Wednesday 21 July, 11am to 12pm
Volunteer Co-ordinator Forum
We are establishing a new online forum for Volunteer Co-ordinators. The first session will be on 19 May 2021, 11am to 12pm and you can sign up on the above link. Angie Turner, Volunteer Co-ordinator from Galloways, is one of the key drivers behind this forum as she explains below:

“Galloway’s have over 240 volunteers who cover our four centres, so it can be quite a challenge sometimes. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it quite a lonely job, as there is usually just one volunteer coordinator per organisation. Therefore, I am asking if any of you would like to get together on a regular basis, at an informal forum, just to have a chat, swap ideas, give each other support and learn from each other.”

If you are involved in managing volunteers in your organisation, or would like to know more, then please do sign up via the details above and join Angie and others.

Thursday 22 July, 10.30am to 11.30am (bi-monthly – new dates instead of 19 August)
Small organisations
Join other leaders of small organisations at this informal session. It’s a space for small organisations to meet and share their challenges, frustrations, ideas, opportunities and successes. Led by CEO of Wakefield District Sight Aid, Hayley Grocock. The last session included discussion on service provision and referrals across the UK, balancing online and face to face services in the future, health and safety around returning to offices and running activities as well as joint campaigning.

Tuesday 10 August, 9am to 10am (bi-monthly – Note: new time and change in frequency)
Rehab Forum
Our regular forum for any members involved in delivering rehab services. The aim of the forum is to provide you with a space to regularly share new ideas and support each other through these difficult times. It will be an opportunity for you to connect with other people working in rehab who are facing similar challenges to talk about real life practical solutions.

Font Resize
Change contrast