Merton Chamber of Commerce was delighted to support MertonVision in their 50th Anniversary year. CEO, Fran Hibbert, joined us and our members at the annual Merton Chamber Christmas lunch in December.

There, our generous guests, helped raise a staggering £782 to support MertonVision in their endeavours to support, train and assist blind and partially sighted adults and children living locally, through our Christmas raffle.

caroline and fran hibbert

Fran Hibbert, CEO of MertonVision and Merton Chamber’s Caroline Cook

I was privileged to visit their centre in Colliers Wood last week to hand over the cheque and have a tour of the facilities there. It was fascinating to hear about the excellent work they offer residents of Merton to help them, young and old, come to terms with their loss, and give them the skills to stay independent and live life to the full.

Fran demonstrated some of the equipment that is available at their Resource Centre. There I discovered how someone with visual impairment can make a cup of tea without burning themselves; had a demonstration of their talking microwave and discovered that there are three types of mobility canes depending on the severity of their sight loss, and the training that each person receives to enable them to get about safely.

Not only do MertonVision support those who are blind or partially sighted in practical ways, they have a range of activities available such as computer training, art and craft or exercise classes along with the opportunity to meet other people with a visual impairment at their many social activities.

The £782 raised will be used to help fund their monthly Saturday club for blind and partially sighted children, some of whom have additional physical difficulties. The club gives them the opportunity to join in and compete in activities with other sight impaired children, often in activities they have not been ‘allowed’ to do because of their visual impairment.

The Guardian Gazette is their newsletter which is distributed to each person (clients, volunteers and supporters) in the format they need – not just electronically via email but also as a hard copy in large print, braille, audiotape, MP3 on disc or memory stick.

MertonVision values immensely the support of their volunteers, so if you are interested in finding out more please contact Carmel Sammons the Volunteer Co-ordinator; if you would like to make a donation please contact Fran on 020 8540 5446 or via email at: Or maybe you, a family member or friend might benefit from their support and advice. They would love to hear from you.


Caroline Cook

Membership and Events Co-ordinator

January 2016