Due to the latest government announcement on Saturday, and the closure of leisure centres, we will be unable to operate from our office in Newburn Activity Centre from Thursday 5th November until at least the second week in December. From Thursday  5th November until further notice we can be contacted  by telephone on our mobile number: 07544301166  or via email at  office@usefulvision.org.uk, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 8.00am and 4.00pm.

We will keep you informed of any further updates.

As per the latest government announcement on Saturday, The Alnwick Gardens, Hall Hill Farm and Washington Wetlands will close from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December 2020. We realise that this will affect some of our families who have pre-booked tickets with us for visits during this period. We will not be taking any more booking requests for these visits due to the current evolving situation. We understand this will be disappointing for you and we hope to be able to offer you further opportunities once the current restrictions are lifted.

Good news though, our virtual zoom choir and drama sessions will still be going ahead. Those families booked on to these sessions will receive full joining instructions prior to the first session.

We hope you all stay safe and well.

#stayhome  #staysafe  #stay positive

3 virtual Q & A sessions have been arranged by South Tyneside Council  to give parents and carers an opportunity to ask questions and share experiences of SEND services for children and young people in South Tyneside. These sessions are the first step in a new engagement approach that will ensure parents have a strong voice in the provision of SEND services in South Tyneside.

The dates for these events are Tuesday 21st October 10.30-11.00, Wednesday 22nd October 19.00-1930 and Thursday 23rd October 1.30-2.00.

Facilitators are: Andy Ritchie (SEND Access and Inclusion Service Manager), Catherine Ratcliffe from Contact and Mehrnaz and Becca (SEND Participation Workers).

To book please go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/124403587479

We are delighted to receive funding from the  Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund to support Useful Vision to arrange events and activities during 2020/2021. Thanks to the Government for making this possible.



New regulations for 2021 state that all ‘quiet running’ vehicles, including electric buses, must emit a noise to ensure pedestrians – and in particular, blind and partially sighted people – will be able to travel by foot more safely.

Speakers attached to the front of the buses emit an artificial sound to make road users aware it is moving. The bus will make the noise when travelling under 12 miles per hour (mph), when reversing and when stationary; when travelling over 12 mph, it makes enough noise that the sound is unnecessary.

The sound has been created in collaboration with Guide Dogs for the Blind and other accessibility groups, to ensure it meets the needs of disabled pedestrians. It is currently being trialled in London but soon we will be able to hear the noise around the country too.


The Trustees of Useful Vision are extremely grateful to have received funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. This will help us to continue to provide accessible events and activities for visually impaired children and their families across the North East. Thank you to the Government for making this possible.



Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Vision England 2020 programme has been cancelled.

If you are aged between 11-24 and have a visual impairment, and would like to find out more information about future residentials please email visionengland@sense.org.uk for an expression of interest form.

A Nystagmus Network virtual Open Day will take place on Saturday 3rd October 2020. There will be inspirational presentations, UK nystagmus research updates and lots of support and information available.

Book now on telephone number 01427718093 or directly from the Nystagmus Network website.

First Steps is a project conceived by British Blind Sport to empower and encourage children between the ages of 3 – 11 years old with a visual impairment to develop their early developmental movement skills and to become physically active. They have the resources to help 450 families over 3 years and have designed an innovative pack to give to First Steps families with all the tools their children need to take their first steps towards leading a more active life.

The First Steps pack is completely free and includes an audible ball, activity booklet, progress poster and 1-1 support with the First Steps Officer.

For more information contact First Steps Officer on FirstSteps@britishblindsport.org.uk or call 07957719251.

The Buddy Dog service from Guide Dogs is for children with a vision impairment and their families. Buddy dogs can have a hugely positive effect on a child’s wellbeing – and their family too! They can help to develop a child’s self-confidence, improve relationships and build a greater sense of trust.

The service is available for children with a vision impairment between the ages of 5 – 18 and is operating across the country.

For parents/carers who would like to find out more, these are engaging and informative online sessions giving parents/carers the opportunity to learn more about the service and put their questions to the experts.

The next webinar will be on 29th September at 10.20am and will last for approximately 3 hours.

To book a place parents/carers can contact the advice line on 0800 781 1444 for full instructions in applying or finding out more about this service.

Website: https:/www.guidedogs.org.uk/services-we-provide/buddy-dogs-for-children.