We had a wonderful surprise at the end of the summer when we were contacted by Eddie Mann, the local author whose new book ‘Ordinary Unthinkable’ contacted the office. He had heard about the Reader Service and wanted to become involved and offer his full support to our charity. This began with Elaine Maries, Paula Suchy and Terry Calvert, three of our committee members joining Eddie at his book launch in Waterstones on 7 September.
Eddie with Elaine and Inca
Following this Eddie has attended further book launches, been interviewed on the radio and appeared in Milton Keynes Citizen. He publicises the Reader Service each time, giving information about all the different sorts of services we offer sight impaired people within Milton Keynes. Further to this, he signs his book marks which he sells for one pound and he has kindly donated this money to us!
We were delighted when he accepted our invitation to join us at our recent Support Meeting. It was a lovely opportunity for our members to meet Eddie and his wife Dawn. We hope this will be the first of many meetings.
Eddie who was originally from Stoke on Trent, started to write after being diagnosed with severe depression. He says that ‘writing literally saved his life’ and it is wonderful that now having published his first book, with a second book due to be published and a third currently being written that he taken the time to support us.
If you would like to find out more about Eddie, you can find out more on www.austinmacauley.com or https://www.facebook.com/EddieMannAuthor/
Thank you everyone who joined us at our support meeting in October. We had a very special announcement this year, Eddie Man, author of ‘Ordinary Unthinkable’ has taken us under his wing and will be supporting us by publicising our good work everywhere he goes. He has also been selling his bookmarks which have made £100 which he has very kindly donated to the Reader Service.
We thought we would have a slightly different sort of gathering this year and invited other groups and organisations who thought may interest our members. These included the Lions club who distributed their ‘message in a bottle’. This is a really simple but very a brilliant idea where anyone taking part in the scheme can keep a small plastic bottle in their fridge which contains information regarding their medication and contact numbers. If an emergency service are ever needed, they will know by a specific sticker on the person’s front door that the bottle with all their details will be in the fridge and they can start helping the person immediately.
We would like to thank the Lions Club for coming along and distributing the bottles to all our members.
We were also joined by representatives from Torch, SARC, Sound News, Macular Degeneration Group and Alternate Visions Coaching. BucksVision opened their resource room and Lesley Townsend distributed their leaflets about their walking groups, yoga and dance group. The Moles also met people and handed out leafets about bowling.
Members from Torch and Macular Degeneration Group
During the afternoon there was plenty of time for tea, coffee and cake. Thank you to all the ladies in the kitchen who, as usual, did a wonderful job.
Lynne, Chris, Helen and Jan
Thank you also to Marilyn and everyone that helped with the raffle, we raised over £200 and thank you to everyone else that helped make is a really good afternoon!
My family and I completed our sponsored climb up Snowdon on Tuesday 12th September. There were 5 of us – Andy, Richard, Stella, Stephan and myself.
We stayed in a cottage near Caernarfon for a week on holiday and chose the best day for good weather, according to the Met office.
We were on the mountain for 8 hours in total, it took 4 hours to climb up, about an hour’s rest, and 3 hours to walk down again.
We took all the advice given regarding equipment, clothing etc. and set off in good weather. The top of the mountain was cloaked in cloud so we knew that visibility would not be good. However we were not expecting that the weather would turn quite as nasty as it did. About three quarters of the way up, the rain lashed down and the winds were very strong. It made the last bit of the climb very difficult and not an enjoyable experience.
Unfortunately my waterproofs were not up to the extreme weather conditions and I was soaked through. I was also very nervous about the walk down as it is so much harder than going up but I just had to go for it as there was no alternative.
We drank a warm cocoa in the summit cafe and luckily the rain had stopped when we ventured out to walk down. The high winds dried me out a bit as we picked our way down the rocky paths. Stephan had hard work guiding me and trying to pick the safest places to place our feet.
Around two thirds of the way down the rain began again in earnest. We were all extremely wet by the time we reached the walkers’ cafe at the bottom of the mountain where more hot chocolate was served up.
Apart from my sore hips, Richard and Andy’s sore feet and Stella’s sore neck and shoulders, there were no injuries and we all got down safely. We certainly felt a great sense of achievement although the weather did rather spoil the enjoyment of the experience.
Stella and I suffered with our leg muscles for three days after the climb and my leg joints are still giving me pain now five days later.
This has been the hardest physical challenge I have ever undertaken and I am not sure that I would have struggled right to the top if it hadn’t been for the generous people who had sponsored me and I didn’t want to let the charities down.
Thank you to everyone who has pledged money and also to my family for supporting me in this venture, I couldn’t have done it without them.
If anyone that has kindly offered to sponsor me, and would like to do it on line the addresses for Milton Keynes Reader Service and Audio Description Association are:
Please could you donate half to each one. Thank You!
Thank you Eye 4 Art!
The members of Eye 4 Art presented us with an amazing triptych at our AGM. The triptych is a lino cut representation of Milton Keynes to hang on our new office’s walls. It will certainly brighten our room up!
Eye 4 Art is a group which meets regularly, giving members the chance to enhance their skills in various art and craft workshops. It is a BucksVision club but volunteers from the Reader Service help the members with their activities. They meet the first Thursday of the Month.
Recently, the participants have been working with researchers from The Open University to make e-textile objects which reflect stories or memories which are personal to them. The will be displaying the objects created by the participants in the event space at MKGallery, who have been generously hosting our workshops.
E-textiles, otherwise known as electronic textiles, is a field which combines together conductive threads, made of silver or steel, with electronics such as small circuit boards. From these you can create interactive objects. By working with these materials in the workshops we have been exploring the link between textures of materials and touch, with the participants experiencing crafting techniques such as weaving and finger knitting, combining their outcomes with sound to bring a story or memory to life.
Join the Eye 4 Art Group on Monday 21st August from 1:30 – 3:30pm to celebrate the pieces and discuss them with the artists over refreshments. The address for MK Gallery event space is:
900 Midsummer Blvd
We held our AGM Saturday 29 July. All relevant documents can be found in our section about MKRS – Annual General Meetings.
Caroline, our Chairperson running our AGM
This year we will see some changes to our Management Committee, James Clifton stood down earlier in the year due to work commitments and we have also lost two of our long serving committee members, Michael Baldry and Paula Varey. Michael has served on the committee in a number of roles since 2001 and we will miss him at our meetings. Paula Varey is also standing down from the Management Committee. She was Chairperson for 12 years, she has been our Walnut Tree Community Shop Representative and one of our fundraisers, which includes organising flag days and organising our part in the Community Foundation Car Raffle. She has played a major role and made a substantial contribution towards the development of the Reader Service.
Karen presenting Paula with a very heavy, huge pot of hydrangeas!
Following our ‘business’ part of the morning we held a coffee morning which gave us a great chance to catch up with each other. We held a raffle and also had two rather special prizes to auction. Christine Merriman very kindly offered to do some sessions of gardening to anyone that would like to bid her for help. And, Mike Pearson also donated a huge selection of home-grown organic vegetables. Both donations were quickly snapped up!
Martyn Lycett our auctioneer with his assistant, Sally Easton.
Thank you everyone that helped on the day and everyone that joined us. We raised just over £300 that morning which more than paid for the event.
For more photos please see our gallery.