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Newsletter: June 2019

Annual General Meeting

Our Annual General Meeting this year will take place on Thursday 20th June. Refreshments will be served from 6.30pm and the meeting will begin at 7pm. The meeting is open to everyone to attend, however only people who are members as ‘Friends of Walthew House’ have a vote at the meeting, can nominate new trustees, or stand as a trustee themselves. Membership costs £10 per year.

We also have a ‘Consultation Pool’ – a group of people we contact by email (and in other accessible formats as requested) to ask for their thoughts on developments at Walthew House and to take part in local or national consultations that are of relevance to people with sight or hearing loss. Please let us know if you’d like to be involved.

Making More Happen

We’ve had a busy couple of months at Walthew House, with our new Making More Happen project. Our new development officer Naomi has been planning lots of activities, including:

  • On Monday 17th June we are welcoming American Friends from Christ Church Stockport for an American themed morning of craft and cake decorating followed by a very British afternoon tea. The cost is £3.00 per person.
  • We have arranged a subsidised trip to Trentham Gardens near Stoke on Trent on 4th July. The full cost of private coach travel from Walthew House and entry to the gardens should be £20, but we are offering places at £12. We are providing a sign language interpreter to help with communication on the day and sighted guides.
  • We have booked a boat trip on the New Horizons canal boat on the morning of Wednesday 31st July, travelling along the Macclesfield Canal from Marple to High Lane and back. We are paying for this trip from Making More Happen project funds, but will be spending the lunchtime at the Ring O’ Bells pub, where people can buy lunch if they would like. This trip is mainly for our hard of hearing service users and we would love to welcome new people who have a mild or moderate hearing loss, and to hear their views on the kinds of services and activities they would like Walthew House to provide.
  • On Thursday 26th September we are organising a signed and sighted guided trip to Robinson’s Brewery in Stockport. The cost to Walthew House will be over £10 per person, but we are subsidising the trip to £6.00. Robinson’s can’t promise, but we are very much hoping to meet Hopnick, Wizard and Bobek the shire horses on the day.
  • On Sunday 1st December we are organising a trip to see the Christmas events at Dunham Massey. The cost per person is £12, which includes coach travel from Walthew House. Entry tickets alone last year were £16.50, so this is an extremely good value for money trip, suitable for families, and as usual we are providing sighted guides and a sign language interpreter on the trip.

Places for all activities are being allocated on a first come first served basis. If you are interested in joining in, or would like to volunteer as a sighted guide please let Naomi know. For more information contact Naomi on the usual number 0161 480 2612 or email

We are putting together a mailing list for all our Making More Happen activities – if you’d like to be added, please let us know. Sometimes we organise activities at short notice, so it isn’t always possible to include them in the newsletter. Signing up to updates means you won’t miss out on something you’d like to do.

Since April we have already arranged a pottery making session, a planting party, a cheese and wine evening and a guided walk, as well as developing our Assistive Technology User Group and our Consultation Pool for people who would like a say in local and wider matters of interest. The photos below show: David and Pat painting their pots; the planting party with their finished pots of flowers and herbs; Vincent, our interpreter Sean and Naomi finding something very amusing at the cheese and wine and Adam Linnet from Cheshire Wildlife Trust leading the tactile and sign language interpreted walk with the Friends of Mirrlees Fields Group.

Working with the Sensory Team at Stockport Council, we are hosting a New to Braille 12 week course beginners’ course starting 5th July. Further details available from the office.

Youth Club members were delighted when the Easter Bunny (pictured overleaf with children from the group) came calling with eggs which he had collected from the generous team at ASDA Reddish.

Equally delighted was Billy Dean, one of our local supporters, who won our Easter Raffle, a hamper of eggs and Easter treats. The photo above right shows Lynn drawing the winning ticket with our fundraiser Shannon.
Our luncheon club had a lovely visit recently from poet Linda Cosgriff. Linda, who is a regular visitor to Walthew, has just had a new book of poetry published, and to celebrate Ben presented her with a small liquid token of our appreciation – pictured right.

And finally, for this issue, the Walthew House resource centre is celebrating achieving global reach! A recent non-local customer called in to buy a hand held magnifier, explaining that he’d seen a lady using one at his church but couldn’t find anywhere to buy one. He is keen beekeeper, but was struggling with deteriorating sight and couldn’t pick out the queen bee any longer. The lady told him she’d bought hers on a trip to the UK, so as he was coming over he looked up a place where he could visit and try one out. And where was our visitor from? Zambia!