North Wales Vision Alliance

The North Wales Vision Alliance is partly funded by the Big Lottery and is a partnership between Vision Support, RNIB Cymru, North Wales Society for the Blind and Cardiff Institute for Blind People. This working alliance seeks to enhance, promote, influence and develop services and working practices to meet the expressed needs of people who are blind and partially sighted across North Wales. Each Group is formerly constituted with a Chair and Vice Chair and supported by officers from the North Wales Alliance. Groups meet every two months and follow an agreed Agenda. Minutes are produced and distributed to Members.

If you are someone who would like to have a say in the services you receive and what is happening in your local area, join one of our ‘VI Voices’ groups which give a voice to people with a vision impairment. Janette Williams is the North Wales Community Engagement Officer for North Wales and is responsible for co-ordinating and supporting the groups as directed by each Chair. If you would like to attend group meetings or would like a copy of the Minutes of any of the meetings, please contact Janette on 07730 413 996 or email her at janette.williams@visionsupport.org.uk

See below for a list of the ‘VI Voices’ campaigning groups.

Chaired By:- Sharon Walters

Meeting Dates 2016

Denbighshire 8th August at 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. at the Scala Prestatyn Denbighshire 10th October at 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. at the Scala Prestatyn
Denbighshire 12th December at 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. at the Scala Prestatyn

‘Hot’ Topics

Members of the Welsh Ambulance Trust were invited to meet the members of VI Voices North Denbighshire and listen to their concerns. These concerns mainly focused on Non Emergency Patient Care Transport (PCS). The group also raised concerns around the Patient Needs Assessment (PNA), repetitive and intrusive questioning, and timeliness of pickups and the level of sensory loss awareness training offered to staff. Members of the group have now been invited to visit the control centre and see what goes on behind the scenes and the comments made by vision impaired members have been reported to a high level Transport Review Group. The Group also invited an officer from Denbighshire County Council to attend the meeting to discuss the new Health and Well-Being Plan and to raise any issues with regard to Council services. Community Transport has been highlighted as an area of concern and an officer from the Community Transport Association attended a group meeting to respond to questions from Members.

Chaired By:- Chris Copeman

Meeting Dates 2016

Conwy 4th August at 11.00 a.m. Ambassador Conwy 6th October at 11.00 a.m. Ambassador Conwy 3rd November at 11.00 a.m. Ambassador Conwy 1st December at 11.00 a.m. Ambassador

‘Hot’ Topics

Community Transport for people with disabilities has been highlighted as a major concern by Conwy Group Members. An officer from Conwy County Borough Council attended a group meeting to explain the current situation with regard to transport in the county and to find out the views of potential service users. It was interesting to note that very few people with a vision impairment were aware of the service. The Group has also been visited by an officer from the Planning Department to discuss issues regarding shared space developments.

Chaired By:- James Hill

Meeting Dates 2016

Flintshire to be arranged.

‘Hot’ Topics

The Group has been meeting with the landscape architect regarding the new development of the Daniel Owen Square to ensure it is as accessible as possible for people with a vision impairment. Members of the Group have also highlighted issues with ‘A’ Boards and street furniture and Flintshire County Council’s Street Scene have been contacted and have taken action to remind small businesses about the rules regarding ‘A’ Boards. The Group has also voiced concerns regarding transport to and from Abergele Eye Hospital as provided by the Welsh Ambulance Trust. The next meeting on the 3rd August will continue to focus on the Daniel Owen Square as there have been some issues with the new development.

Chaired By:- John Ramm

Meeting Dates 2016

Wrexham 26th September at 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. at AVOW
Wrexham 28th November at 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. at AVOW

‘Hot’ Topics

Wrexham Bus Station has been a cause for concern for people with a vision impairment over a number of years. There are also issues regarding street furniture and the town centre in general. As a consequence the Group invited a Lead Cabinet Member and Senior Council Officer to a meeting to voice their concerns. Members also organised a walk around with the Town Centre Manager to point out the difficulties they were experiencing. The Town Centre Manager produced an Action Plan to take some of the issues forward and arranged for the Group to take part in a walk around and workshop with consultants employed as part of the Town Centre Master Planning exercise. The Group were also approached by Wrexham County Borough Council to take part in the development of the new Strategic Equality Plan and a participation event has been organised for the 8th September between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm. At the next meeting on the 27th July, Sally Thomas, Workforce and Organisational Development, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, is attending to find out peoples experiences of local health services and how well the Accessible Standards for People with Sensory Loss are working.