Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

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A poem by Claire

This little old man from Egham

Who talked to the birds as he fed um

He laughed all the time, as his nature was thine

This little old man from Egham.

This little old man from Egham

Would sing a nice tune, if you let him

The words were in braille, which told a great tale

This little old man from Egham

This little old man from Egham

John was his name, not Graham

He’s been on a bus, a train and a tram

This little old man from Egham.

My journey with the Coalition

Here is an ode written by one of our Board Directors and long standing members, Jonathan.

After being asked for my thoughts,
I’m putting down words,
It’s up to the readers, if they think they are the best.

Now, what or which words should I use?
I thought of some, a few were discarded,
Here are the rest.

While training my plants to tie them to canes, 
It occurred to me how like a plant or any living creature;
They can grow to a tree,
What follows now is what happened to me, one day at the ATM, I knew I couldn’t see.
What to do, although it was bright, the screen reflected the light,
It blocked out the screen, getting some cash was going to be a fight!

Out of the passing pedestrians came a voice,
“Young man you seem to have a plight,”!
Indeed, I do have one, I sighed,
“Well, I can’t see but I know someone who can”!
A genial voice joined the first, 
It sounded familiar but who could it be?

With his help the right buttons were pressed, I got my lucre, no more to be addressed.
Well, actually it was really the beginning of how I came to be ultimately meeting Maya and the others via Zoom, today at three!

After thanking this kindly duo,
They informed me that they were just two of a group.
Not musicians or militants, more just kind hearted just out to survey,
Egham my home for Accessibility.

After a few minutes, conversation and explanation, came the invitation.
Come to our meeting on Monday, with some listening and observation,
I went to that meeting and was impressed,

All of this was about seventeen years ago.
What happened next, I would like you to know.
I went to more of their meetings and wanted to help,
We visited all manner of places far and near,
Some issues we solved, but not that many,
Some were not, it needed money, but there wasn’t any!

I was invited to another group with a title long and grand.
I travelled to Addlestone, with a very affable chap,
He had two metal legs, but then what of that?
A metaphorical seed had been planted linking some similar groups.
The Runnymede Access were forming a troupe,
To make life better for people like me,
For others also.
For plants to grow they need Sun.
In this case, much work would need to be done.
Me, I’m disabled but a user of services.
I was and still am,
A Service User in a network of people with needs,
Here’s where it leads, 
To The Coalition  
A couple of years passed, and we helped each other to 
Develop a group first of a few dozen but growing, not out of hand, slowly but surely the Coalition expanded, 
From all over Surrey, together we banded,
In meetings large and small.  “Come to or AGM”
So I did, my physical vision departed, but still I could see, the Coalition was for me. My life did not stop, 
I didn’t want to mope and complain, after all, being blind doesn’t cause pain,
It’s when you walk into a lamp post or the door of a train.
Around me were people in long term pain, did they complain?
No! so why should I, to me it was plain.
A few years later, I was elected to become a Director.
To sit on the Board, not in a posh City office but in a room at Astolat.
The Knights sat at a big table, not round but still stable.
The first two kind folk who encouraged me to join them, have since left this Earth but Pat’s voice still echoes in my head,
It was some items on the Talking Newspaper he read.

Move on to twenty and twenty,
Both the Coalition and technology had moved on Suddenly a rumour was on.
No, not a rumour but fact, by a virus, the world was being attacked. Lockdown was keeping folk prisoner and could they couldn’t get out.
How can we help the mobility and sensory disabled, well with Zoom they could be enabled.
They can learn that there is a world out there.
My McGonigle rhyme is nearing its end.
The Coalitions Zoom have much encouragement to lend.
I have mentioned Pat and Edna, but there are others to mention, Carol, Yasmin and Clare, so many others, Nick, Anna and Pete, Cliff and others now gone, but thanks to Maya, this ballad could be turned into a song.
It’s not classical in nature, just a simple narrator. It’s not a real word, but for tonight my task is done.
We Zoom groups meet and have fun, smiles and carry each other along. I hear the smiles and frustrations, but being enabled to communicate helps the days go along.

SMS

Why is life made difficult for those who cannot hear?
When simple things could help so much and that is very clear.

Hearing loops are helpful  if installed or working,
But not so good found in a desk or in a cupboard lurking.

How to make appointments we’re very often asked and this is why we need your help to complete this task.

How is contact made by phone if you can’t hear a reply?
But an SMS number would do the trick and that you can’t deny.

The adding of a number should been done as  routine ,
On all official documents
by the Public seen.

We encourage you to help towards spreading this request.
We leave this safely in your hands and know you’ll do your best.

From our members

Our members are wonderful, wonderful people, and we all know it. They have various hobbies, and numerous talents!

We would like to promote your creativity here, on our blog, so if you wrote a short story, or a poem, or if you painted a picture, took a lovely photo, please, share it with us so that everybody can enjoy it!

Click on this link to see what other members wanted to share with you.

A Christmas poem

Please read a poem written by one of our members, Ann Blishen.

Christmas 2020

Another Christmas comes around

But very different we have found,

No friends and family to be near

With glasses full of Christmas Cheer.

No happy sound of Children playing

But we’ll listen to what the Queen is saying.

We will of course enjoy our day

Spent with each other, as is our way.

We’re fortunate that we’re still here

And to Covid rules we will adhere .

A Virus jab is on its way

And we look forward to the day

When family’s can meet again

And normal life will once more reign.

But as for now we must agree

That safety is priority.

And we look forward to next year

When Friends and Family can be near.