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Relay UK Review

I am an adult with hearing loss, I have hearing aids but find that telephone calls can be a trial. I came across Relay UK and decided to give it a go. Relay UK offers text-to-speech and speech-to-text translation services. A relay assistant in a call centre acts as an intermediary, enabling people with hearing loss or speech impairments to communicate with people over the telephone.

So, it allows people to use a phone, tablet, or computer to talk via an App to other people.  You talk or type to the assistant and then they type or talk to the second person. I used it on my Android Mobile Phone and found it very easy.

How it worked

I downloaded the program from the App store.  Once downloaded it very simple to get up and running. I opened the app and followed the on-screen instructions. By linking my phone in the App and confirming it with a quick call, I registered my phone and activated my account. I did not have to provide any personal details. 

The service is run by British Telecom and to make a call all you need to do is to enter the number you want to call, or simply link your contacts and select one from your address book. The service is free, all you pay is your normal call charges. The phone rings the assistant, and the screen shows you whether you are waiting to be connected, or if the other person has answered. Once you are connected you can either talk, or type using the on-screen keyboard. The assistant types and speaks back to you. I found this to be very clear, and instant. The conversation was only slowed by my typing skill. Thankfully the assistant will correct minor spelling mistakes for you.

I spoke with my daughter and rang a local shop, the assistant was able to advise the other person that this is UK Relay Call and what that means, saving me any embarrassment.

The fact I could hear what was said, as well as the text meant I was in control. If I had no hearing I could opt for just text, and then the call is silent and cannot be overheard by people, no more loud volume calls! I found you can easily save the text of a call so you can go back and check details like names and numbers.

Text Numbers

One great advantage of this new App is the Text Numbers. Once registered you can ask for a new 07777 number. This can replace your old number for Relay UK calls. Give out this number to friends and family and when they call it will always go via Relay UK, so you will always have an assistant involved. You do not have to, but it is something worth thinking about if your hearing is getting poor. Your old number will still work.

The Official Website

How to use Relay UK | Relay UK (bt.com)

If you need some help learning how to use Text Relay, or if you would like to borrow a smart phone on long term loan to enable you to use the app, then please get in touch and the Tech to Community Connect project can help. 

Email getconnected@surreycoalition.org.uk or text: 07563 997 932 

Google live transcribe in action

We have tested google live transcribe. Watch this short video to see how it works!

Ways to stay in touch

We are very excited to let you know about all the different ways you can access our newsletter and weekly updates without leaving your home!

You can read it online, you can listen to it online by clicking on a link, which you will find below, or you can listen to it on your mobile using a podcast provider of your choice. If you do listen to podcasts, you will know that you can subscribe and will always be notified about new episodes being uploaded – how awesome is that!

Moreover, if you are not a mobile phone user and don’t have access to the internet, you can just dial in our local phone number, and listen to us this way!

Click here to see and download all the ways you can access our Newsletter and weekly updates.


See below for all the links:

Coalition News

To read:

Our website: https://surreycoalition.org.uk/news/coalition-news/


To listen on Alexa

Say: “Alexa, play Coalition Newsletter podcast”


To listen online or on a mobile device:

Our website: https://surreycoalition.org.uk/news/coalition-news/

Master podcast link: https://surreycoalitionnewsletter.buzzsprout.com/

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/surrey-coalition-newsletter/id1548717279

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5kaLpWCTs4yDCGd5QN8UAo

TuneIn + Alexa: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Health–Wellness-Podcasts/Surrey-Coalition-Newsletter-p1397501/

Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/us/show/2175932

Listen notes: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/surrey-coalition-newsletter-surrey-coalition-kfC8rWIut9c/

Player FM: https://player.fm/series/surrey-coalition-newsletter


To listen on the landline

Telephone number: 01483 694 099 – please allow around 14 seconds before the recording starts playing.


Coalition weekly updates

To read:

Our website: https://surreycoalition.org.uk/weekly-updates/


To listen on Alexa

Say: “Alexa, play Coalition Weekly podcast”


To listen online or on a mobile device:

Our website: https://surreycoalition.org.uk/weekly-updates/

Master podcast link: https://surreycoalitionweeklyupdates.buzzsprout.com/

Apple podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/surrey-coalition-weekly-updates/id1549558588

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0QSm35ZjQWZHzbeVwz55D1

TuneIn+ Alexa: http://tun.in/pkaX8

Player FM: https://player.fm/series/surrey-coalition-weekly-updates


To listen on the landline

Telephone number: 01483 694 098

17 December Coalition update

Please see our latest update here.

If you would like to see previous updates, they are all located here.

Merry Christmas everyone! See you in New Year!

Weekly update

Welcome to the weekly update.  This edition includes:

1. Coalition update

2. Physical and Sensory Impairment Strategy survey

3. Flu Vaccination

4. Woking Mind Community Wellbeing Calls service

5. Headway Surrey Zoom Carers support Group

6. Carers of People living with Dementia – dance project

7. Cybercrime Newsletter – Facebook Update

8. Surrey Faith Links newsletter

9. Building Society research


1.  Coalition update

We are recruiting! – We have two brilliant opportunities to join the Coalition staff team, working on collaborative projects with SILC. These roles are available thanks to grant funding from the National Emergencies Trust, Sport England and Active Surrey.

Project Coordinator, part time – 30 hours per week

Physical Activity Navigator, part time – 18 hours per week

We are recruiting for two people, working on fixed term contracts until 30th June 2021. Both roles are home based.

Find out more and apply here: https://surreycoalition.org.uk/practical…/job-vacancies/

The closing date for both roles is Friday 11th December 2020.

IMHN Training Course – The IMHN is offering a two-week training course about representing yourself and community at meetings, running on the 3rd and 11th of December. Please email guy.hill@surreycoalition.org.uk if you wish to join the network and/or book a place.

Craft and Chat – Christmas projects are the main topic at the moment.  This week the group talked about the projects covered in Kirstie’s Christmas Quick and easy Christmas Craft programme on Channel 4 last Sunday.  The group then had their own show and tell which consisted of: Napkin flowers, Knitted Teddies, Crochet Wreaths and Making your own advent Calendar – suggested topics exploring different traditions, listening to Christmas music, poetry and books and a creative activity or puzzle and of course a chocolate to enjoy. Two storage suggestions were a felt Christmas character with pockets and Little card boxes with stickers stacked how you chose.  Next week we will be making different kinds of wreaths. If you want to join us at any time  please do. We meet on Tuesdays at 12.00 noon.

BSL group on Tuesdays – Next week we are looking at a simple sentence using the words we learnt – if you are new don’t worry you’ll catch up! We will also cover animals, numbers and the handshape game.  Join us via the wellbeing hub.  https://virtualwellbeing.healthysurrey.org.uk/find-a-session/

Book Chat – Next week the group will discuss two short stories by Saki.  There are two stories; one about cats and the other about a werewolf.  The group meet every Wednesday at 2.30pm.

Dates for the diary – We have two special dates for your diary related to the social programme which is helping us all to stay connected. 

Monday 7th December – Animal special in the Coalition Café! One of our breakout rooms will involve a guided virtual tour around Cronkshaw Fold Farm which will take 20 minutes or so and this will be followed by 5 minutes of ‘goat therapy’ where we will spend some time with one of the farm goats. 

Thursday 17th December – The big Coalition Christmas themed quiz at 2.30pm.  More information on this next week. 

FoCUS Newsletter – Please see the latest newsletter here which includes the dates and zoom joining details of the December FoCUS meetings.


2.  Physical and Sensory Impairment Strategy Survey

Currently, there is no strategy that sets out Surrey County Council’s commitments to residents with Physical Disabilities, and/or Sensory Impairments.  Adult Social Care is developing a strategy to improve how they provide care and support to adults with physical disabilities and/or sensory impairments.  SCC wish to develop this strategy through co-production with residents who are living with physical disabilities and/or sensory impairments.  This survey is an important part of this co-production and will help them learn from the lived experience of people living with physical disabilities and/or sensory impairments. Surrey Coalition are one of the Stakeholders that have agreed to coproduce this strategy with them. 

Unfortunately,  due to timing SCC have been unable to engage with you to develop this initial survey, however it is hoped that you are able to provide feedback on the draft survey so that this can be incorporated before we launch the survey at the beginning of December.  Please can you send your answers on the document attached to Yasmin.Broome@surreycoalition.org.uk any feedback by Tuesday 1st December.

The Survey when launched will be available in a variety of accessible formats along with an email address and SMS contact number to ensure that all are able to engage with the survey.  SCC recognise that not all members will be able to feedback to the draft survey in this short timeframe and that this will exclude some members who are not ‘online’ however SCC will be working closely with all members to coproduce this strategy moving forward and there will be many opportunities to work with them throughout this process.


3.  Flu Vaccination

Getting the flu vaccination is a great way of protecting yourself from flu this winter, especially for those who are at a greater risk of developing potentially serious complications. It’s also the most effective way of reducing the spread of the virus with those we come into contact with, helping ensure Surrey residents stay fit and well this winter.

The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help us all against the risk of flu and its complications, and for many Surrey residents, it is completely free if you fall into one of the groups below. This year, with COVID-19 in circulation, it’s more important than ever that eligible groups are vaccinated to protect them from flu and the vaccine will be offered to more than 30 million people. The expansion of the flu programme means that many more people will be eligible to receive the free vaccine for the first time, but may not realise this.

Those eligible for a free flu vaccination:

  • Children aged 2-11 years (but not 12 years or older) on 31 August 2020
  • Alternative flu vaccine for children – If a child is at high risk from one or more medical conditions or treatments and can’t have the nasal spray, the child will be offered an alternative flu vaccination by injection.
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years and over
  • People aged 50 to 64 – Significant new group will be eligible for the free flu vaccine as people aged 50 to 64 will be invited later in the season for a vaccination. Flu vaccinations may also be available towards the end of the year (from December) to people aged between 50-64. Vaccinations for 50-64 year olds will be subject to supply and priority will be given to those in at-risk groups first.
  • People who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household – Significant new group will be eligible for the free flu vaccine. Household members could pass the flu virus on to those who are shielding, even if they have no symptoms themselves. Many household members do not know they are eligible for a free flu vaccination.
  • People in long-stay residential care homes
  • Carers
  • Health and social care workers
  • People with learning disabilities and their carers
  • People aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups (e.g. living with long-term health conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes or asthma)

Action for Carers provide more information on the Surrey Carers flu voucher scheme

There are two new short videos about the importance of the flu vaccination for people with a learning disability now available: 

Please also see Surrey Heartlands CCG Stay Well in Winter web page with these links, here.


4. Woking Mind Community Wellbeing Calls Service

This is a support service for anyone that is struggling with low mood, loneliness and anxiety. Woking Mind can arrange to have a one-off or regular chats about any concerns or troubles at a time that suits. The Woking Mind team can give advice, suggest coping techniques and help people access a wide range of free support service offered by Woking Mind and others in the local area. This includes  their counselling service, peer support groups or walking groups (subject to government guidelines). This service is available to all adults living in Surrey and no referral is required.


5. Headway Surrey Zoom Carers Support Group

Please see below the December dates for Headway Surrey’s Zoom Carers Support Group for families and friends of those with acquired brain injury. If you know of anyone who this would be of benefit to please feel free to forward this email.  Headway Surrey have added a new evening session for those who work during the day.

Upcoming dates for groups this year:

Wednesday 2nd December 7pm-8pm

Wednesday 16th December 2pm-3pm

If you would like to find out more or would like to attend please email chloe@headwaysurrey.org or call 01483 454433

If you are unable to make the groups but find you are in need of some support or advice please do get in touch with Chloe.

The new Headway Surrey Christmas cards are on sale! They have been beautifully designed by one of Headway’s clients. Click HERE  to purchase


6. Carers of People living with Dementia – dance project

Mole Valley Borough Council have received funding for an early onset dementia dance project session with Beatrice Allegrandi, a qualified dance tutor with a specialism in dementia.  Please see the poster attached.  The project can accommodate three people affected by dementia, and their carers, and it would take place in April 2021. 

There is no cost, and it could be of great benefit.  The person would have to be affected by early onset dementia (i.e. be younger than 70), and be a resident in Mole Valley. If you are interested in taking part please email:

beatriceallegrantidancetheatre@gmail.com Or Call or text: 07714 196810 www.beatriceallegranti.com


7. Cybercrime Newsletter – Facebook Update

The Cybercrime Unit at Surrey Police has recently identified a significant increase in Facebook account compromises. In a single week, these accounted for 100% of the reports received by the unit. If you have tried to correspond with a global company about such an incident you will be only too aware how frustrating it can be. And the worst thing is that this is almost entirely preventable – so if you want to secure your social media accounts, please read the newsletter below.


8. Surrey Faith Links Newsletter

Please use the link below.  http://surreyfaithlinks.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SFL-Newsletter-NOVEMBER-2020.pdf


9. Building Society Research

We have been contacted by someone undertaking some research on behalf of a Building Society with the aim of better understanding the needs of customers with vulnerabilities when interacting with financial services. They are looking to speak to someone who is perhaps involved in policy or with an interest in improving services for those with disabilities. The conversation would last approximately 30 minutes at a convenient time to be arranged, and will focus on gaining an understanding of the needs and how they might be met.  Please let Yasmin know if you would like to help with this.