March 2021

Free Tablets and Wi-Fi for over 50s

Do you know someone who would like to get online, but doesn’t quite know where to begin? Elders Council has received funding from the Postcode Community Trust to provide tablets and WiFi to people aged 50+ living in Newcastle. Working with their partners Mental Health Concern and Your Homes Newcastle, they are able to provide a device, WiFi and a Tech Buddy to help people to get started. To find out more contact Elders council on 0191 208 2701 or leave a message and telephone number, or email

Elders Council

Mental Health Concern

February 2021

World Glaucoma Week (March 7th – 13th 2021)

Glaucoma UK will be providing a programme of digital glaucoma support groups and other activities that will take place during World Glaucoma Week (WGW) this March. More details can be found below.

A new page on their website about glaucoma self-care

A new podcast will be launching on their Facebook page

The following is a list of support groups taking place during WGM week. You must register to join the online webinars. If you do not have access to the internet, there is further details available on the links to dial in by telephone.

8th March (3pm) – My experience of glaucoma surgery

2 patients who have had glaucoma surgery (a trabeculectomy and a shunt) will talk about their experience and answer questions. Link to register

9th March (1:30pm) – My experience of taking part in glaucoma research

Mark Wagstaff who took part in glaucoma research into visual field monitoring. Link to register

11th March (7pm) – Who can help with my glaucoma: What support is available between appointments?

Glaucoma UK will be joined by 2 Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLO’s). As well as glaucoma specific support, they will be discussing vision loss and the many services available to support you if this occurs. Link to register

12th March (6pm) – Glaucoma self-care; how I look after my eyes

A former Glaucoma UK trustee will talk about his life with glaucoma for over 30 years, including learning how to be a pilot! Then he’ll open the floor to you to share your hints, tips and frustrations of living with glaucoma. Link to register

19th March (3pm) – Glaucoma and Eye Drops

Angela James, Ophthalmic Pharmacist with NHS Lothian will talk all things eye drops! Great presentation for anyone struggling with drops or needs advice. Link to register

Into the spring, Glaucoma UK will continue with talks on looking after your eyes during Ramadan, SLT and Pseudoexfoliation Glaucoma. To keep up to date on all their talks and services, keep an eye on their website

January 2021

Free NHS Vaccinations

The coronavirus vaccine is free of charge and only available via the NHS. Please be aware of coronavirus vaccine scams. The NHS will NEVER do the following:

  • Ask for your bank account or card details.
  • Ask for your PIN or banking passwords.
  • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • Ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills.

For further information regarding the coronavirus vaccine, please click on the following link: NHS coronavirus website.

If you have received a letter from the NHS inviting you to book your vaccination appointment then you can go to the following website to book your appoint: NHS coronavirus vaccination appointment booking.

January 2021

Lockdown – Office closed

I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Unfortunately due to the new national lockdown measures in place the office will now be closed for the foreseeable future.

All the staff will be working from home now, but they can be contacted through the normal office phone number 0191 2327292.

Please take care everyone and stay safe.

Best wishes Sue and all the NVS staff .

December 2020

Office closed for Christmas

Newcastle Vision Support will be closed from Friday 18th December 2020 and re-open on Tuesday 5th January 2021.

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and to thank you for your continued support, especially during 2020 which has a been a difficult year for everyone. We are hoping that things improve in 2021 and we will be able to restart our groups. Take care and stay safe everyone.

Sue and The Team.

December 2020

Winter Newsletter 2020

To view the Winter Newsletter 2020, please click on the following link to download the document:

Winter Newsletter 2020

November 2020

National Eye Research Centre

At the National Eye Research Centre, we have done some research that shows that not enough people living with eye conditions get to hear about eye research. We also know that recruiting patients to clinical trials is a real challenge for researchers which means that, at times, what could be promising research goes nowhere.

We want to change all this, because finding new solutions for visual impairment is critical, and we know how empowering and hopeful it can be to know that scientists and clinicians are working to find better ways to diagnose, care for, and treat eye conditions. Better still, that we can all play a part in finding solutions.

In order to create better information channels, we are asking for the views of individuals directly affected by eye conditions, and also their carers’. We have created a survey which we are circulating to patients support groups across the UK, and also to the general public. You can find the link to the survey below:

The survey is anonymous and we will send a summary to any participating group once the results have been received. Hard copies and large print copies of the survey can be provided, please contact Newcastle Vision Support.

National Eye Research Centre website link:

September 2020

Become a Tyne & Wear Sight Loss Council member

Are you living in Tyne & Wear, blind or partially sighted and interested in advocating for others?

Join our community of blind and partially sighted advocates and help support visually impaired people in your area to live the lives they want to lead.

What does a Sight Loss Council member do?

As a Sight Loss Council member your duties may include putting forward local issues affecting your community at Sight Loss Council meetings (ie pavement parking, guide dog refusals etc) or taking part in accessibility testing sessions, forums, seminars and contributing to public consultations.

If you’re interested in gaining advocacy experience, you are a great communicator and confident with technology (or willing to learn), then we want to hear from you!

What do the Sight Loss Councils do?

Sight Loss Councils are currently expanding their reach across England to give people who are blind or partially sighted the opportunity to influence positive change and improve services at a national and local level.

Each Sight Loss Council aims to make a difference by representing the voice of blind and partially sighted people in the key areas of health, employment, education, transport, technology, and sport. If you have a particular interest in any of these areas, please let us know

Examples of Sight Loss Councils’ work include:

· providing GP Surgeries in Bristol with visual awareness training

· working with StageCoach on new audio-visual announcements on their buses in Gloucestershire

· providing accessibility feedback on a healthcare app in Birmingham

· running accessibility workshops with the Apple store in Liverpool.

Where do we work

We currently have Sight Loss Councils in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Birmingham, Black Country, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and we are launching two brand new SLCs in Tyne and Wear and Bedfordshire.

Why volunteer with us?

We will provide you with core training and ongoing opportunities to learn and develop in your role.

Skills you may learn include advocating for yourself and others, improving your confidence in public speaking, organising events and much more. We’ll focus on your strengths and interests and help you build upon them. These are all skills that will really help boost your CV if or when applying for jobs!

How do I join?

To find out more about becoming a Tyne & Wear Sight Loss Council member, download the volunteer role description below and email to let us know which Sight Loss Council you are interested in joining.

Please click the following link to download the Volunteer Role Description.

September 2020

Take part in a vital study into the lives of blind and partially sighted people.

RNIB, Guide Dogs and Thomas Pocklington Trust are jointly conducting an invaluable research to understand the realities of life for blind and partially sighted people in the UK.

The study will help to improve support and services for those with a sight impairment.

For further information or to register to take part in the survey, please click on the image below.

Take part in a vital study into the lives of blind and partially sighted people.

July 2020

North East Macular Society – Patient Information days

The Macular Society have organised 2 information Days in the North East for patients. This will be held in August via teleconferencing. Please see below from Julie Swan (Regional Manager) for further details.

Patient Information Days

Stephanie Cairns, BSc(Hons) MCOptom Pgd Cert.Clinical Optometry & Chair NTW Local Optical Committee, will talk about the support available during Covid 19 and how to access help if you need it.

Friday 7th August 2020 at 10.30am will be Wet Macular specific – benefits of continuing treatments and changes to eye clinics to help people continue treatment during this time.

Friday 21st August at 10.30am will be Dry Macular specific.

If you would like to attend please register beforehand with Julie Swan by calling 07904 315605 and so she can send you details on how to join. Also you can submit questions to Julie before the events so she can forward to Stephanie Cairns.