Our BucksVision Showcase which took place on Friday 27 July was a great success. About 50 people attended on the day and we had a total of 95 entries across 19 classes.
Our day started with a quiz which was won by the Magnificent Seven a group of people from across the county who won with 58 points. After the quiz was complete each table took part in our Challenge 30 section where they were given a box of craft materials and instructed to create a BucksVision Mascot in 30 minutes. BucksVision staff were tasked with judging the best mascots and we were all very impressed with the creativity of the groups. The Marlow and Wycombe Maniacs won with their mascot which included words stating what BucksVision meant to the members of the group including things like
After the craft challenge everyone had a chance to visit and take part in the craft demonstrations which included silk scarf painting, clay artistry, lino cut printing and weaving, as well as enjoy their lunch and visit the exhibit hall. Once lunch has been consumed and people were suitably refreshed we enjoyed entertainment from Banjovi Revival before drawing the raffle and announcing the winners of the trophies. Irene Wright won the overal trophy of Best in Show for her beautiful embroidery 'Lazy Daisy' with the judge saying it was "exceptionally impressive" and that the "attention to detail is particularly strong". Congratulations to Irene!
Wonderful TOAD (The Oxford Artisan Distillery)
On 10 July BucksVision visited The Oxford Artisan Distillery to learn about the art of distilling gin. The Distillery has only been distilling for a year so it is a fairly new operation.
Our visit started with background into the equipment needed to make vodka and gin, this equipment was both described and passed around to be felt. We then moved on to the botanicals used which all of the attendees were able to smell and in some instances taste. We then moved on to the most important part of the visit when we got to try their products. First the group tried a vodka before moving on to the three gins that the Distillery produces, Oxford Dry Gin, Physic Gin and Ashmolean Gin. The Physic gin was described as being wacky as it used botanicals not commonly found in gin, however all of the botanicals used are grown in Oxford's physic garden. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the tasting session!
We finished the tour with a sneaky taste of their whiskey which has been maturing for 9 months, it still has 2 and half years left to mature before it is ready so the attendees were rather lucky to get a taste! They also got the chance to feel the barrels the whiskey is being matured in.
We had a fabulous afternoon and would recommend a visit!
Frithsden Vineyard Visit, June 6
16 of us had the most wonderful day out visiting Frithsden Vineyard near Berkhamsted on 6 June.
Nestled in a very picturesque country village, the weather was perfect as we toured the vineyard, learning all about the growing, grafting, pressing and bottling of white & sparkling wines made on site. Our excellent host and Vineyard owner was Simon Tooley. Remember the names Rondo, Solaris and Phoenix!
After the tour we all took our seats in the tasting bar/café to sample each of Frithsden’s very refreshing wines, although I do believe one person had a hole in their glass as the wine seemed to disappear rather quickly! We all tucked into a very delicious Ploughman’s lunch before heading off to the Vineyard shop, which was full of one off original items as well as all that lovely wine!
Altogether a truly beautiful day which was summed up by one of our members who said, “it would have been wonderful even without the wine.”
BucksVision celebrates Volunteers' Week 1 - 7 June 2018
Friday 1 June is the first day of Volunteers' Week and we would like to take this opportunity to say a very BIG thank you to all our volunteers who undertake so many different roles, and make such a BIG difference to people living with sight loss in Buckinghamshire.
In order to find out more about the day to day roles our volunteers undertake, staff will be visiting as many of our activities as possible in the month of June and will be assisting the volunteers in delivering our services. All of the staff are looking forward to visiting our volunteers and thanking them for generously giving their time and support.
College Farm Trip
Back in 2012 BucksVision visited College Farm in Long Crendon as part of a scheme called Let Nature Feed Your Senses; the visit was featured on In Touch radio.
Six years later we decided to make a return trip and on 24 May 11 of us arrived at the Farm. Despite it being a rainy morning, everyone turned up and were welcome by Claire with a lovely cup of tea or coffee and some very tasty homemade biscuits.
By the time we made our way outside the rain had thankfully stopped and we started our tour of the farm. We got to say hello to some curious Bulls, saw a sheep being sheared (including a chance to feel the wool), feed some friendly chickens, stood in field surrounded by very noisy sheep and were lucky enough to see a newly born calf whose mother was still birthing its twin! And in honour of our visit one of the twins was named Optic.
We finished our visit with some honey tasting, including an unusual ivy honey and College Farm’s own honey.
A big thank you to Claire and her team for making us feel so welcome.
Celebrating 30 years of our Resource Centre in Aylesbury
In 1985 Les Morris, Chair of what was then Bucks Association for the Blind decided it was time that the charity had a dedicated Centre where it could offer cooking classes, demonstrate equipment and much more, to its visually impaired members. He thereby launched an appeal to raise money for the Centre and with the support of local people, members and volunteers of the charity this dream was achieved in 1988 when a new Centre based in Meadowcroft was opened. Since then the Centre has continued to act as the office for staff; a place to view and try out equipment; run courses for members and generally support people with sight loss in Bucks.
On Monday 21st May BucksVision celebrated this fantastic achievement with a small celebration to mark the Centre’s 30th Birthday. BucksVision was delighted that the Mayor of Aylesbury, Cllr Mark Willis, as well as members, volunteers and staff past and present came along to commemorate the occasion. There was a chance for everyone to catch up with people that they hadn’t seen for a number of years and also to hear more about the history of the appeal. We honoured members, Ken Parker and Joan Woodward who raised money by jumping out of a plane and walking the 95 miles of West Highland Way, respectively. And we honoured BucksVision’s North West Division which raised a tremendous amount of money for the Centre through concerts and various fundraising events.
Finally, we celebrated by cutting a birthday cake which everyone enjoyed before Steve Naylor, Chief Executive, and the Mayor officially opened our newly refurbished Resource Room, which Aylesbury Town Council had generously granted £1,000 towards. We were also grateful to receive funds from the Woodroffe Benton Foundation and Percy Bilton Charity.
“Our newly refurbished resource room means we can continue to support our members by being able to show them equipment and technology that can assist them in their day to day lives. We are grateful to everybody who was involved in the appeal and absolutely delighted that we could celebrate the 30th birthday of the Centre with them today.” Steve Naylor, Chief Executive
Our many thanks to the Mayor of Aylesbury for attending and to Derek Pelling who came along and took some fantastic photos of the event. You can view them on his website Aylesbury & District News. We also welcomed Neil Shefferd, Reporter for the Bucks Herald, his report on the celebration can be seen on Bucks Herald Website.
Members enjoyed a lovely morning at Abbotts View Alpaca Farm written by Kirsty Wood
On Tuesday 24 April BucksVision's members, volunteers and staff visited Abbotts View Alpacas farm for one of our Experience Days.
We met Alpacas, sheep, pigs, piglets, Louis the baby lamb (after the new Prince) and goats. We got to stroke the baby lamb and piglets and feed the sheep, the alpacas and goats.
After feeding and stroking the different animals, we washed our hands, then had tea, coffee and delicious homemade cake.
BucksVision would like to thank Joe, James and their volunteer Julia. We all had a lovely time and really enjoyed our visit.
Ian Jenkins completes the hottest London Marathon on record
Congratulations to Ian Jenkins our marathon runner who completed the London Marathon in 5 hours, 18 minutes and 13 seconds. It was a very hot day and Ian did really well.
Ian has also surpassed his target of £2,000. Well done Ian and thanks for raising some much money for BucksVision.