Kingston Upon Thames Association for the Blind

Latest News

News, events and information that we receive between our biannual newsletter                          

Covid - 19

During these current times of uncertainty KAB are happy to help our members however we can. If you need help or advice, then please call the office on 0208 605 0060 or email [email protected] and we will try our best to help.

KAB and The Vision Foundation

For many years now, KAB’s major funding has come from another Charity, known as the Greater London Fund for the Blind (GLFB). That Charity has suffered a drastic fall in income in recent years and in turn that has meant a similar decline in grants received by KAB.

Recognising that their fundraising model was reliant on more old-fashioned methods and the need to change, GLFB have recently re-branded as The Vision Foundation (VF) and are now looking for funding from High Value Donors, Trusts and Corporate Partnerships. This means that they need to have clear projects and organisations that they can put to these donors, who look for more specific activities than perhaps was the case in the past.

KAB was one of eight local charities that were ‘members’ of GLFB. That membership model needs to come to an end in order to meet the requirements of VF’s donors.

We are asked to commit to a transitional period of funding before the new model comes into force. This would be a transitional Grant of £90,000, unrestricted other than to work with visually impaired people in the area covered by the charity, receivable as follows:

1. £90,000 as a lump sum, either receivable in March or April 2020.

2. Three sums of £30,000 receivable in April 2020, April 2021 & April 2022.

3. Three sums on a tapering away basis in April 2020, April 2021 and April 2022.

From a cash flow point of view, I recommend accepting Option 2.

We will be able to apply for discretionary grants at given points in a financial year going forward and beyond 2022 to VF’s Discretionary Fund. I have discussed this aspect with Olivia Curno, the Chief Executive Officer of VF, and we would be able to apply for funds to support an (or maybe more than one) Outreach Worker.

We would also be eligible for a small amount of fundraising support from VF (as we also are eligible for from London Vision). We would also be able to attend an annual forum of former members and current grant recipients.

This does mean that after 2022 we will have to be very much more reliant on obtaining our own funding from Council Grants, Trusts, public and members contributions and legacies than we have been for many years. We will also need to look at what we can afford with a critical eye. It is always possible we may need to curb expenditure through loss of a post or relocating to more affordable, premises. We have already had to suspend Grants to individual’s and it may be that we have to ask the two clubs associated with, but not directly run by KAB to look to raise their own funds, rather than be reliant on us for support.

To summarise, the days of milk and honey are now over.

Adrian Munt


Phil Margree’s Retirement and The Senior Management Roles of Trustees

As you may be aware, our long serving Secretary, Phil Margree intends to retire from this post at the forthcoming AGM, after almost 14 years in the post, having originally told the then Chairman, Jonathan Cooper – and I quote Phil - that he ‘would take it on for or a couple of years’. Phil has already taken a step back from his duties as a Producer of the Talking Newspaper earlier this year.

All of KAB is extremely grateful to Phil for his 20+ years of service to the Association. Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Phil in my various roles with KAB as the ‘junior’ – of 13 years – and have learned a great deal from him, not least the ability to keep Executive meetings moving! Thank you, Phil for your calm and considered thoughts and guidance. I am sure that Brian and the KTN team would echo this. Have a Happy, well-earned retirement Phil!

Phil’s retirement does throw up a problem for me though. Following Jonathan Cooper’s retirement last year, I have been acting as dual Chair and Treasurer. I am grateful to Carol, Barbara and Sue for their support as Vice Chairs. During the past year we have advertised and asked people if they would volunteer for one of the three roles – Chair, Treasurer or Secretary - to no avail.

As mentioned above, I am already filling two senior management roles – I also have to remind members that I am still very much in full time employment and am not looking to retire from that for another seven years. You will therefore appreciate that I am not prepared to take on a third senior role. It would not be appropriate in any event and also poses issues as several financial and legal matters have to be attended to by more than one person.

KAB really needs its’ members and supporters to step up to the plate and become more involved in the three senior roles as a matter of urgency. If you, or someone you know, are willing to become involved, please either contact the office or myself, email [email protected].

As an aside, while writing this, on the radio in the background they were playing the ‘infamous’ half time address by of all people, Delia Smith to Norwich City fans. How appropriate “We need a 12th man. Come on, where are you?”

Adrian Munt


Healthwatch Kingston want your help to find out about how disabled people are finding Health and Social Care services during the covid-19 crisis.

Healthwatch Kingston continues to play an important role when it comes to alerting health and social care services of issues that relate to patient safety during this unprecedented time.

We are keen to help local NHS and social care services that are under an incredible amount of pressure.

You can help us understand how people are being affected and if there is anything more that can be done by filling out our survey.

Whether you want to tell us about mental health care, your experience of a hospital, social care support, or another health service we want to hear about it.

We are really keen to hear the views of blind and partially people in Kingston. Your views and experiences, both good and bad, will be valuable to our work.

To respond, click the following link: or alternatively, a member of our team can assist you with filling it in over the phone.

The recorded responses to the survey will be anonymous.

Contact Kezia Coleman [email protected]

Together we can make a difference

Wet AMD and DME treatment survey

Retina International are seeking the views and experiences of patients and caregivers living with wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD) and
Diabetes-related Macular Edema (DME) regarding the current treatment

These surveys, which have been co-created by patients, will help those
advocating for improvements to the delivery of care to better understand
the challenges that currently exist. This data will help the global
community of patient advocates to identify what improvements can be made
to care pathways and develop robust policies to address this need.

Please find below the link to each survey. If you are having difficulties accessing these then please give the office a call on 020 8605 0600 and someone will be able to help.

Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD) Patient Survey

Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD) Caregiver Survey

Diabetes-related Macular Edema (DME) Patient Survey

Diabetes-related Macular Edema (DME) Caregiver Survey