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Newsletter from Tameside Blind Association. Issue Winter 2010.

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    TT BB

    AA News & Views from News & Views from

    amesideameside lind ssociationlind ssociation

    Winter 2010 Issue No. 18

    A newsletter for visually impaired people.A newsletter for visually impaired people.

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    Editorial Team:

    Editor: Vicky Kay

    Journalists/ contributors:

    Morag Taylor, Debbie Mutch, Margaret and Ray Carter, Philip Singleton, Glenis Lee, John Howard, Judy Grant, Betty Wade, Margaret Shorrock.

    Photos provided Vicky Kay, Jill Doidge.

    Cover: Gwen Cooper tells us about her memories of past Christmases, see page 6.

    Note from the Editor.

    Seasons greetings! Well as Im sure you all know, Winter is well and truly upon us! I hope you are all keeping warm and cosy, and getting ready for the festive season.

    Here in the office we are keeping busy as always. Jill and Glenis have been wanting to get the office decorated for Christmas for a while now, however Philip and I managed to put them off until December, which seems to be quite good going!

    We have all been busy trying to get that ever growing To Do List shrunk; and Glenis, Philip and myself have been busy trying to get through all our home visits before we break up for Christmas!

    Speaking of which, the details of when the office is closed over the festive period is on the back page, so don't forget to read that and get any requests for the new year in before we break up!

    Now on to this edition of the newsletter! In this issue we have a smattering of seasonal articles, as well as the usual sprinkling of technology reports, interesting pieces and news from other organisations who also help people with vision impairments. You will also find our new leaflet within the newsletter, which explains about all the services we provide, both for visually impaired people and members of the public. If you would like more copies, please get in touch! (Contact details on back page).

    And now there's nothing more to say, other than that we at the office wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

    Written by: Vicky Kay, Editor and Development Worker, TBA CSP.

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    Volunteers who work for Tameside Blind Association either directly or through the Community Support Project (CSP) and for the various clubs in Tameside joined in a training and social get together event on August 11th. The session gave people the opportunity to meet fellow volunteers who work in different aspects of the Associations activities and also to see first hand some of the latest gadgets and technology that help people in their daily lives. Particular interest was shown in accessible mobile phones and in a portable (rechargeable) daylight style reading lamp. The get together gave people the chance to chat to Project staff and Committee Members and to meet our new Admin Assistant Jill. Jill joined us in March and most people will have at least spoken to her on the phone but the get together was an opportunity to say hello in person and discover her hidden talent of making delicious cupcakes. Thank you again to all the volunteers working with Visually Impaired people in Tameside; whether in clubs, as committee members or for the Support Project. The time and effort you put in is very much valued by everyone. We are looking for some additional volunteers in the Support Project and particularly those able to guide and transport people to appointments and those who could do odd jobs in peoples homes. If you would be interested please let us know, or if you know someone who could be interested please pass on our details! Written by: Philip Singleton, Project Manager, TBA CSP.

    Volunteers Get Together

    A Full office: The CSP office full of volunteers for our get together.

  • 4

    A Pagan Yule-tide.

    Christmas, Xmas, Holidays, Nativity, Noel.

    Call it what you will, but it all boils down to our ancient tradition of Yule.

    Yule tide has both Saxon and Norse origins: Lul is the Norse meaning of Wheel, and Hweolor-tid is Saxon for turning time; this represents the turning of the year, from dark to light.

    In the Pagan calendar Yule begins on the 21st December and last

    for five days. Yule remembers our origins before Christianity came to the shores of this island.

    Many pagans were reluctant to give up their pagan pathways and their mid-winter celebrations (and who can blame them!), therefore Yule was replaced by Christmas or Christ-Mass, as people were already used to celebrating a festival at this time of year.

    Yule, December 21st marks the turn of the wheel from the old to

    the new, after the shortest day and the longest night. The sun begins its return to the earth, without which life on earth would be impossible.

    We also have our own version of Father Christmas: The Holly King was also commonly known by Pagans as Old Nick. He gave gifts especially to children and rode his sleigh across the sky, pulled by reindeer (remember this is a Norse tradition) through the Yule tide eve. When the Christians took over the Yule festival, Old Nick became a saint and Old Nick was destined for lower things

    This holiday is one that Pagans and Christians alike can relate to, as The light of the World is reborn demonstrating how both Pagans and Christians have blended together over the centuries.

    Whatever your religious pathway may be, remember loved ones that have passed; keep these people in your thoughts and close to your heart.

    And may I wish you a happy and peaceful time this holiday season.

    Bright Blessings.

    Written by: Debbie Mutch, Visual Impairment Team.

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    TBA committee secretary and treasurer report.

    First of all, many thanks to those members who attended the AGM on Friday 22

    nd September. The following members were

    elected as Trustees for the year 2010-2011:-

    John Price - Chair

    Ray Carter - Treasurer

    Margaret Carter - Secretary

    Beryl Williams - Membership Secretary

    Gordon Collinge - Trustee

    Phil Dewsbury - Trustee

    It was somewhat disappointing that we have been unable to attract new active members to be Trustees.

    Anyone interested can contact Margaret Carter at TBA 330 7778 or at CSP at 343 4090 or e-mail tba@tamesideblind.org.uk.

    In the next year we will have to decide the future of the Community Support Project as the present Big Lottery funding finishes in January 2013. If we are unable to secure funding then we will be unable to carry on with the Project. This is going to be a very challenging time for the voluntary sector as we are increasingly called upon by some of the most vulnerable in our society.

    Over the past year several vision impairment associations have found it difficult to continue and have had to amalgamate.

    We would like to thank the few people who have arranged for a monthly standing order from their bank as a donation to TBA. People may not be aware that under the Government GIFTAID scheme, we, as a registered charity, can claim back the 20% tax already paid for on a donation that a person makes, providing they are a tax payer. For every 100 we would claim an extra 25 from the taxman for the Association.

    Any queries contact Ray Carter at the above phone/email numbers.

    Written by: Margaret and Ray Carter, Secretary and Treasurer, TBA.

  • 6

    In Christmases gone by...

    Gwen has a friendly smile and twinkling eyes as bright as the scarlet sweater she is wearing on this cold winter afternoon.

    She is a lady with quite a history. Having been an only child she was brought up in Hollingworth where she attended the local primary school.

    Gwen remembers Christmas times back then when Hollingworth was covered in a blanket of snow and she joined her friends in snowballing and sledging and, as the song says; chestnuts were roasted on an open fire.

    The war had broken out when she was about 12 years old and Hollingworth had been host to a number of evacuees from Liverpool. Gwen became friendly with one evacuee called Audrey who was a tall, Cheerful, buxom lass. She has vivid memories of this fearless creature frequently being the first to try out the safety of the ice before the rest of the children ventured onto the ponds to ice-skate. Unfortunately, because of her size Audrey became known as Bella the Barrage Balloon.

    Eventually Gwen married and spent the following Christmases with her 5 children. Christmas with her husbands family was a special occasion and they all made their own entertainment. Her husband was very fond of playing music for the gathering and he was one of those talented people who could play any tune by ear on the piano. He also loved to sing and so did his brother, which meant for lively Christmas entertainment.

    Eventually it became apparent that Gwen and her husband were not destined to remain permanently in Hollingworth; they spent 10 years in Zambia as her husbands work produced materials for copper mining. She loved the climate and the lifestyle with its pony club and golfing; the luxurious lifestyle of the Brits living

    Gwen is all set for this

    Christmas.

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    and working there at the time, which was completely different from what she had been used to. Christmases in Zambia were also completely different from what she was used to; Instead of celebrating Christmas with cold wintery snowy weather there were barbecues by the swimming pools adjacent to the house.

    Gwen continues to have a lively enquiring mind and is fascinated by new tech

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