Visionary Annual Conference 2017: Workshop Programme

Workshop Programme

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Workshop session one – 11:20 – 12:40
1. Technology – The 4th Industrial Revolution

This workshop will explore how technology can be pivotal in the three following areas: Independent Living; Skills and Employment; Mobility and Travel. It will look at how technology is being used locally, regionally and nationally to support people with a visual impairment. It is focused upon sharing knowledge and learning from Beacon to support members when considering their services, developing them, and how they interact with technology and beneficiaries.

Lead facilitator/s: Arwyn Jones (Beacon)

2. Dealing with change while maintaining traditions. Is it for your charity?

We want to share the experiences we have had over the last 3 years, building on our foundations and embracing new ideas that benefit visually impaired people now and in the future. We will also mention our new Vision Support Centre which we have developed to provide more services from, and the ups and downs of a capital project.

Lead facilitator/s: Carl Hodge (Barrow & Districts Society for the Blind); Claire Smith (Barrow & Districts Society for the Blind)

3. Data protection – Understanding good practice and implications of the GDPR

With changes to fundraising regulation, e-Privacy and EU regulations, data protection can feel like a minefield for charities right now. This workshop explores some of the key changes affecting the non-profit sector and looks at how organisations can prepare for the new GDPR coming into effect from May 2018.

Lead facilitator/s: Alexa Sage (Visionary); Carla Whalen (Russell Cooke Solicitors)

4. Demonstrating the impact of vision rehabilitation to Commissioners

This workshop will discuss the RNIB Cost Avoidance Study and how it can be used to influence commissioners. The workshop will also cover how members can record and measure the outcomes of a rehab service and use it to engage with commissioners, and motivate staff and volunteers.

Lead facilitator/s: Emma Cruickshank (Visionary); Josh Feehan (RNIB); Mike Bailey (Christopher Grange); Sue Fritsch (Sight for Surrey)

5. How to be an effective trustee

The session will cover such topics as What is a trustee? What are the basic duties? What does the Charity Commission expect? What issues on the horizon should trustees be looking out for? The session will be both informative and interactive and of interest to anyone who is a trustee or works closely with trustees.

Lead facilitator/s: Leon Ward (Brook Young People)

6. Exhibition

Exhibitors from across the sight loss sector will be providing information about and demonstrating their products and services.

Workshop session two – 14:30 – 15:50
7. The new landscape for the sight loss sector

There has been significant change within the sight loss sector this year. How do we ensure that local, regional and national organisations best work together to raise awareness and offer support in an effective and efficient way? What role should Vision UK, Visionary and the RNIB play alongside local and other organisations?

Lead facilitator/s: Alison Oliver (Visionary); Philippa Simkiss (RNIB); Phil Ambler (Vision UK)

8. Laughter wellness for people with sight loss – what is it and how does it impact on people’s health and wellbeing?

To consider how people with sight loss access their own laughter and to explore techniques and exercises that could help them to do so, in order to better manage stress and build greater resilience in their lives.

Lead facilitator/s: Pam Lacy (Thomas Pocklington Trust); Joe Hoare (Laughter yoga with Joe)

9. “I can see clearly now”

To promote good quality care for those living in a residential home, specifically for those individuals who suffer with sight loss and Dementia and how we can effectively overcome any fears, barriers, struggles with daily living due to their condition and introduce a new way of life.

Lead facilitator/s: Julie Rudd (Vista); Charlotte Jackson (Vista); Kathleen Rutland (Vista)

10. How can organisations in the sight loss sector stand out from the crowd?

This interactive session will look at the challenges for organisations in the sight loss sector to promote themselves and to defend themselves against unwanted media attention.

Lead facilitator/s: Tom Walker (Freelance BBC reporter, media trainer, and media relations specialist)

11. Trustee advice forum and panel Q & A

What’s happening on other boards? What are the top 2/3 issues boards are focusing on? How should we as trustees deal with such issues as broadening board diversity, to risk registers, to Charity Commission expectations, to difficult relationships with the executive/leadership team? Those leading the session will be trustees themselves and share their own experiences upon these and other issues. A significant amount of the session will be an open forum and panel Q & A for those attending to raise specific queries and issues, and there will be the opportunity prior to the workshop to submit confidential questions relating to your own experiences of working as or with trustees.

Lead facilitator/s: Andy Haynes (Visionary); Leon Ward (Brook Young People)

12. Exhibition

Exhibitors from across the sight loss sector will be providing information about and demonstrating their products and services.

Workshop session three – 16:00 – 17:20
13. “Sensing Nature”: Enhancing meaningful access to nature amongst people living with sight impairment

This interactive workshop will build on the programme of work currently underway at the University of Exeter as part of a two-year research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, called “Sensing Nature” (for more information, see: A key aim of the project is to improve the way we understand, enable and promote more positive, inclusive nature experiences for people living with diverse sensory needs and priorities. During the workshop, participants will be encouraged to discuss how (if at all) they currently use diverse forms of nature in their work with blind and partially sighted individuals and how they feel this could be improved. Best practice examples from around the country will be introduced to spark discussion, together with examples of the types of nature experiences that different people seem to appreciate based on early findings from the Sensing Nature project. These insights will be used to inform interactive discussions about what more could be done to support people in getting out into nature (should they wish to), whilst recognising the resource constraints that local sight loss charities work within.

Lead facilitator/s: Sarah Bell (University of Exeter)

14. Understanding me

How to support adults with learning disabilities and a visual impairment.

Lead facilitator/s: Emma Hopper (Vista); Joanne Neal (Vista)

15. How to lobby effectively

Local sight loss charities of all sizes need to build close relationships and trust with their local authorities – employed officers and elected members. Building such connections is referred to as lobbying. However such activity is all too often ineffective and can be counter productive – there are rules to follow, instincts to learn and a number of things to never ever do. Experienced lobbyists who have worked with local sight loss organisations will share their experiences and hints and tips.

Lead facilitator/s: Bob Hughes (Sight for Surrey)

16. Inspiring Impact – Shared outcomes measurement in the sight loss sector

Visionary has been working with NCVO CES and New Philanthropy Capital along with a pilot group of local sight loss organisations on a two year project to develop a shared outcomes framework for the local sight loss sector whilst inspiring good impact practice in sight loss organisations. This workshop explores the relevance of the draft outcomes framework and theory of change to date; and how the sector could implement shared outcomes measurement with the necessary tools and guidance.

Lead facilitator/s: Alexa Sage (Visionary); Amira Chilvers (NCVO CES); Susan Hoath (Focus Birmingham)

17. Know your costs

How much does it actually cost you to do some of things that you do as a local sight loss charity? This workshop will explore how to calculate your costs including areas such as: Do you know exactly what to quote when trying to obtain financial support for a specific service?; Could you accurately identify the cost of providing different services in your Annual Report?; How to identify, and detail individual costs; How to allocate costs; How to identify what percentage of costs to allocate to a particular area, or service. The workshop will also provide information about training (half day session) that can be provided to Visionary members. The training and the Toolkit provided is based on the “Full Cost Recovery – Training Programme” produced by ACEVO and NAVCA.

Lead facilitator/s: John Wood (Northamptonshire Association for the Blind)

18. Exhibition

Exhibitors from across the sight loss sector will be providing information about and demonstrating their products and services.

Thursday 2 November 2017

Workshop session four – 09:00 – 10:20
19. Working in partnership to provide children and family support and eye health awareness in Oldham

This session will give an insight into Henshaws’ partnership with Oldham Council’s Vision Impairment Team to employ a Children and Young People Enablement Officer to provide emotional and practical support to families. We will also outline how Henshaws are working in partnership with local eye health professionals and a range of voluntary sector organisations to raise awareness of eye health in mainstream and special schools. Organisations involved include Henshaws, Eye Heroes, SeeAbility, Oldham Council and a local dance and theatre company, Reforma. This is a unique project which demonstrates how joining sectors, we are better able to deliver the Vision Strategy and educate children and young people about eye health, support children and young people living with sight loss and encourage children and young people to become confident, independent adults in their community.

Lead facilitator/s: Fiona McMullen (Henshaws)

20. British Blind Sport inclusive activities workshop

An overview of the benefits of sport and physical activity and how visually impaired people can improve their physical and mental wellbeing through participation.

Lead facilitator/s: Logan Gray (British Blind Sport)

21. The IMPACT of what you do

We won the 2017 Kings Fund IMPACT award based on proving the impact our work had Рand want other Sight Loss agencies to apply and win. Its £30k unrestricted funds, an ASTONISHING training package and ongoing support to grow & develop. It included our Research into Rehabilitation, work in schools to prevent sight loss, eye clinics and work with minority ethnicities.

Lead facilitator/s: Bablin Molik (Sight Cymru)

22. Sight loss organisation to sensory organisation?

With Councils and statutory funding contracts often now combining sight and hearing loss provision, then what are the challenges this provides both small and larger Visionary members? What are the challenges of becoming involved in a sensory contract – lead provider managing delivery and also operating as a sub-contractor. Come and hear from Visionary members who are at different stages of dealing with these challenges – from those just starting out, to those further along the journey, to those who have successfully made the transition. Members will share frank and honest experiences and there will be the opportunity to ask questions, discuss key issues and also hear how Visionary can help.

Lead facilitator/s: Andy Haynes (Visionary)

23. Can we see you? – Effective sight loss awareness training that targets your audience

This interactive workshop will focus on delivering effective sight loss awareness training that targets the audience and addresses challenges which will ensure that its full impact is achieved. An overview of Looking Out For Sight (LO4S) will be provided. The conclusion will include information about the outcomes and impact of LO4S following successful implementation of the project by addressing challenges and adapting to the audience. There will also be an open discussion about how this project, and others like it, promote greater awareness and a very positive image of people who have sight loss.

Lead facilitator/s: Melissa Sansum (Wiltshire Sight)

24. Leadership forum for local sight loss charities

An opportunity for leaders (CEOs/senior managers) to come together to discuss current issues and challenges and share examples of good practice with colleagues.

Lead facilitator/s: Alison Oliver (Visionary)

Workshop session five – 10:30 – 11:50
25. It always seems impossible until it’s done

Revamping and modernizing website, image and literature – why we did it, how we did it, lessons learned, what we gained and lost from the experience.

Lead facilitator/s: Fiona Sandford (Visibility)

26. The challenges of delivering sight loss services in a rural county in the 21st century

The workshop will focus on: drivers for organisational change; responding to challenges of the ageing population and funding; the BIG Lottery Reaching Communities Fund; implementing the England Vision Strategy; translating the ‘Seeing it My Way’ Framework into our Sight Loss MOT (Needs Assessment); outcomes monitoring; and partnership working.

Lead facilitator/s: Grahame Flynn (Devon in Sight); Julian Garner (Devon in Sight); Cathy Duffy (Devon in Sight); Alexa Sage (Visionary)

27. Young people in transition: Next steps – what do they need and how can we help?

Taking a holistic look at all the needs of a young person transitioning to adult life. Thinking about our culture and ensuring that young visually impaired people, as far as possible, have the same opportunities as their sighted peers. This workshop will include: starting from 14; hopes and dreams – are they realistic; independent living skills and mobility; activities and social opportunities; information and advice; understanding your rights; emotional wellbeing; work experience and apprenticeships; and further and higher education and work opportunities.

Lead facilitator/s: Laura Hughes (Moorvision); Jane Vincent (Sight for Surrey); Beverley Bishop (Sight for Surrey)

28. Charles Bonnet Syndrome – Adopting the ‘orphan’ condition

A day in the life of a sufferer of Charles Bonnet Syndrome. Living in frightened silence. Explaining the condition. Improvising/illustrating/depicting the silent visual hallucinations. Exploring coping strategies, relaxation techniques, reassurance and counselling. Understanding the effect of Charles Bonnet Syndrome on the sufferer’s family and friends. Developing a pathway to ensure proper diagnosis and support. Identifying how the word ‘support’ should be interpreted. Peer support. The vital need for medical research. The future.

Lead facilitator/s: Judith Potts (Esme’s Umbrella)

29. Goalball UK – Transforming people’s lives

Goalball is more than just a sport. In the workshop we will explain – demonstrating practically if possible – how the sport is played and, equally importantly, explain it’s ‘off court’ impact.

Lead facilitator/s: Kathryn Fielding (Goalball UK)

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