Unique positive opportunities for vision impaired children

Kirkley Hall Zoo

Useful Vision families enjoyed a day at the zoo at Kirkley Hall.

Kirkley Hall Zoo has over 130 species of animals including lemurs, coatis, marmosets, reindeer and cotton top tamarins as well as a petting barn. Children had an opportunity to handle small animals including rabbits, guinea pigs, a bearded dragon and a corn snake.

There are also play areas, forest trails, garden walks, picnic areas and the Orangery Tea Room and gift shop.

Many thanks to Kirkley Hall staff and Useful Vision volunteer Alex.

Segedunum Roman Fort

Useful Vision families came along to the Roman Fort, Segedunum at Wallsend, North Tyneside. Families made their own centurion helmets, forts and made clay pots.
There were lots of tactile and interactive exhibits and a tour of the fort. Children were able to explore all aspects of life in a fort, including object handling and dressing up in authentic uniforms.
Many thanks to Beth and all museum staff and Useful Vision volunteer Alex.

Choose Useful Vision as your Co-op local cause!

Exciting news!

Useful Vision have been chosen by the Co-op Food Store in Ryton as one of their causes. This means that from April-October this year, they will be fundraising for us.

Co-op members can login online and choose us as their charity, then everything they spend on Co-op owned products will go to us, this includes products in store, funerals, legal services and insurance services. A percentage of money spent on Co-op owned products in the Ryton Food Store and Throckley Funeralcare will be donated to us too.

The Co-op Food Store in Ryton are holding a charity night on Saturday 8th July, if you would like to buy a ticket or donate a raffle prize, please get in touch.

Useful Vision will also be organising bag packs in the store and urgently need volunteers to help out. Please contact the office for more information if you are interested in helping out.

For all enquiries please contact the Useful Vision office on 0845 604 8491 or email office@usefulvision.org.uk.

Useful Vision visit to Hartlepool Marina

Useful Vision families enjoyed a day out at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience.

There were activities exclusive to Useful Vision families including rope-making, canon and musketry demonstrations and an exciting tour of the ship HMS Trincomalee. Families explored the decks and learned about life at sea in the 1800’s. Children took part in a treasure hunt around the quay and found treasure in the play ship.

The historic quayside recaptures the atmosphere of an 18th century seaport with an interesting range of period shops to visit and be transported back in time with the aid of audio commentary.

Children enjoyed the interactive Maritime Adventure Centre, played outdoor skittles and other traditional games and took the helm aboard the adventure play ship, complete with Captain’s Cabin and Crow’s Nest.

Many thanks to Captain Leigh and all of the Maritime Experience staff, also to volunteer Lauren.

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Useful Vision Activities

Useful Vision families have recently enjoyed a range of exciting activities, including:

Jarrow Hall – Travelling back in time to become Anglo-Saxon farmers.  A guided tour through Anglo-Saxon lives: visiting replica village and farm.  Feeding the animals, cooking delicious food on an open fire in the replica Anglo-Saxon village and enjoying storytelling and riddles. The session ended looking at traditional textile skills and making friendship bracelets. Thanks to Tom at Jarrow Hall for facilitating our visit.

The Pegasus Centre, Morpeth RDA – Exclusive riding and pony care experience. Children took part in two different sessions; Riding and Pony Grooming and Stable Management. It was the first time some children had ever been on a horse whereas others were more experienced riders. Once all children were familiar with their horses, they joined in the various games and enjoyed a pony trek outside. In the pony grooming and stable management session, children learned about what it takes to look after a horse. They were shown the various grooming equipment and given the chance to touch and feel it, as well as brushing the horses, preparing their dinner and filling hay nets. Afterwards, all children all received a Rosette for their hard work. Thanks to our volunteer Deborah for all of the help she provided at the activity, and to the experienced staff and volunteers at The Pegasus Centre, for making this activity so enjoyable for all of the children.

Druridge Bay – Families enjoyed a fun packed challenging time at Druridge Bay Country park. They took part in various water sport activities on the lake, learning new skills and gaining confidence on the water.  Everyone had the chance to have a go on the Stand-up Paddleboards, sit-on-top kayaks, canoes and sailing boats throughout the afternoon.  The session ended with everyone jumping into the lake. Thanks to all of the staff at Druridge Bay Country Park and Useful Vision Volunteer Kerry for their support on the day.

Bounce Preschool Group – This monthly preschool session at Bede Tower in Sunderland offered a chance to let off steam in the soft play area followed by music and movement activities facilitated by Music Bugs. This month children played percussion instruments and journeyed under the sea with colourful fish and lots of bubbles. Thanks to the staff at Bede Tower and Rachel from Music Bugs.

Squiggles N Giggles – Messy play session for Preschool children at Squiggles’n’Giggles in North Shields. Activities were based on under the sea. Children made jelly fish, as well as exploring different textures in their play such as rice and sand using fine and gross motor skills. The session ended with a story and songs. Thanks to Louise and Susan at Squiggles’n’Giggles.