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Warm Home Discount Scheme: You could be missing out on £140

(16 February 2021 4:01 pm)

You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2020 to 2021 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March. You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out. The discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment. Eligibility There are 2 ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme: 1) you get the Guarantee.....
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Super Saver: Grants

(12 February 2021 12:00 am)

Written by Kate Perkins, Super Saver Advances in technology have helped many users of our services with sight loss, so it was no surprise when I was asked to apply for an IT grant to help Paul Proctor, who has recently lost his sight. Having become sight impaired quickly, Paul craved more independence and felt that an iPad would help him to achieve this. I approached Barchester’s Charitable Foundation, a registered charity that helps older people as well as other adults with a disability throughout the UK. They particularly support applications.....
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You may be entitled to a free £25 Cold Weather Payment from the Government

(11 February 2021 11:30 am)

Reminder for those in Warwickshire that if you are receiving disability benefits or income support, you may be entitled to a free £25 Cold Weather Payment from the Government. A Cold Weather Payment will pay you £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather (0°C or below) between 1 November and 31 March. Recently a weather station signalled that the weather had reached the requirements for some areas in Warwickshire. You do not need to apply to claim for the £25, it will be paid automatically. Check your area’s eligibility for the Cold.....
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Smart Speakers: Amazon Echo Dot

(21 January 2021 12:00 am)

Some of our registered service users were contacted in the summer of 2020 about taking part in an Amazon Echo Dot (smart speaker) trial for 6 months. Recipients had to have WiFi, and a smart phone or tablet (their own or a friend or relative’s) in order to install it. After, they were sent the Echo Dot and instructions on how to install the device. At the end of the trial we will be collecting more detailed feedback before re-distributing the devices again for a further trial.  Here's what some of our service users had to say so far: "I.....
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Coronavirus Vaccine Scam Warning

(14 January 2021 12:00 am)

We have received alerts that there are fraudulent letters and texts circulating Warwickshire from people pretending to be the NHS and asking people to apply for the vaccine to try and gather their personal and payment details. We would like to remind everybody that the vaccine issued by the NHS is free, and to not respond to any messages or click any links that seem suspicious. If in doubt, ask a friend, relative or carer to assist you. Please forward any suspicious messages to 7726. This free-of-charge short code enables your provider to investigate.....
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Let's talk about gadgets

(12 January 2021 12:00 am)

It’s amazing the difference a simple thing, like a bump-on attached to your microwave, can make to your cooking isn’t it?  Easy, cheap and it works! But what is available for VIPs in the kitchen at the other end of the market?  A lot of talking stuff is the answer!   Washing machines (yes, really), microwaves, jugs, kitchen scales, timers and clocks, thermometers, tin lids and labels to name a few.  Things to consider about talking gadgets are the voice preference, a male/female/electronic, and the volume range.   Talking Kitchen Scales.....
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World Braille Day 2021

(4 January 2021 12:00 am)

Every January 4th the World comes together to celebrate World Braille Day.  Celebrated on the same day as founder Louis Braille’s birthday, World Braille day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of braille and the impact it’s had on the lives of thousands of blind and visually impaired people worldwide.  Braille is a tactile reading and writing system that works through readers using their sense of touch on patterns of raised dots with each pattern representing a specific letter/group of letters, word, punctuation or number......
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Social Distancing - Don’t Stand so Close to Me

(18 August 2020 12:00 am)

With the introduction of social distancing rules WVS has received a lot of calls from members about how best to conform and still remain independent. Many of the tools used to keep us apart are visual cues such as markings on the floor, inaccessible signage and eye contact with other people. Callers have expressed concerns about getting close to people, queuing at shops, linking arms and using public transport. Also questions about using a face mask and touching things. Even with some vision, sticking to social distancing rules is incredibly difficult.....
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Beware, E-Scooters are Coming

(17 August 2020 12:00 am)

A recent decision to permit the trialling of rented electric scooters in Birmingham and Coventry has raised a great deal of concern across the local VI community. Although designed to provide greener travel solutions, the nature of electric vehicles causes problems for people living with sight loss who struggle to hear an approaching vehicle.  The fact that e-scooters are small and silent makes them particularly difficult to identify, whilst a proposed top speed of 15.5 mph increases the likelihood of a collision. Currently, RNIB is asking that.....
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TV Licenses for over 75s

(14 July 2020 12:00 am)

Charges for the TV Licence come in on the 1st August 2020 except for those on pension credits or registered severely sight impaired (SSI). Note, people registered sight impaired (SI)  do not qualify. Who will pay from 1 August? When the rule change comes in, free TV licenses will only be available for over-75s who receive pension credit. More than three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee from the 1st August. TV Licensing will soon be writing directly to over 75s customers with clear guidance, highlighting that no.....
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