Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

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Bob, the Tech Angel

Bob is one of our brilliant volunteer Tech Angels! 

During lockdown, Bob has been using Team Viewer to provide remote support to work with people on the Tech to Community Connect project. 

Bob says

“I have some spare time and I wanted to give something back, being a Tech Angel is a rewarding way to volunteer.” 

The Tech to Community Connect project, helps people who are digitally excluded.  Digital exclusion has many different forms, for example, some of the people we work with do not have access to a device (so we lend them one), some of the people we work with need some help with their digital skills and/or confidence and we help them by matching them up with one of our volunteer Tech Angels. 

Our ‘matches’ then decide what their targets are, and the team work together on achieving these.  Some people want to learn how to shop online or to apply for a new bus pass, some people want to join a support group, book a GP appointment or use their computer for a medical appointment, others want to learn how to stream music and others just want to be able to google useful information.  

If you are interested in applying to become a Tech Angel volunteer, helping people in our community who are digitally excluded, please email  

We would love for you to join our team!

Caterham Salvation Army donated a tablet to us!

A huge THANK YOU to Caterham Salvation Army who have very kindly donated a tablet to the Tech to Community Connect service. 

Pete Dommett, Technology Lead, went to pick up the tablet today. 

Pete says:

we are doing all we can to get people who are digitally excluded online.  People who are disabled, living with a long term health condition and/or Carers are much more likely to be digitally excluded than others”

The Tech to Community Connect service provides support to people who are not able to get online or to use technology.  The service lends devices to those who need them, matches people up with a Tech Angel volunteer and provides an online social activity programme for everyone.

Ailsa Flinders from Salvation Army Caterham Caterham | The Salvation Army  said

“we are keen to support local efforts to get people online and this scheme has made a real impact in Surrey for those who have been isolated in lockdown”. 

Caterham Salvation Army is an active multi-generational Christian church, on Caterham Hill.  The Caterham Salvation Army team will be promoting the scheme across the district to all those who could benefit.

If you know someone who could benefit from this service, or for more information, please go to: or email     

Pete from Surrey Coalition and Ailsa from Salvation Army Caterham

Google live transcribe in action

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

Laundry Lens app review

Laundry Lens for iPhone users

Coalition member Brian has kindly written up an app review for us all to introduce us to an app called Laundry Lens which is available to iPhone users.

What is it and who is it for?

The Laundry Lens app is for anyone who wants to know what the symbols on their clothing labels mean!  It is particularly helpful for those of us with low vision or people who are completely blind to give some help when it comes to washing clothing.

What does the app do? 

The app allows the user to access information on the tags on their clothing to identify the symbols and washing instructions.  As an example, the instruction to avoid tumble drying or to wash on a low heat or to not iron.

How much does it cost?

The app is completely free

How easy is it to use?

The app is simple and straightforward to use.  It is a very handy little app.

You will need to start by finding the app in the app store by searching for ‘laundry lens’ and then downloading it.  Once the app is downloaded from the App Store you simply point your phones camera over the garment label and it quickly scans all the symbols very quickly.  At the bottom of the screen is a blue bar that says instructions and once this is selected it will show you all the symbols on the screen and the instructions of how to wash your clothing.  It is best to use voice-over when using this application as it does not announce straight away.  It can read all the instructions from the clothing label. 

How do I get it?

The link to the app on the app store is here:

What do the screens look like?

Brian has included two screen shots of each stage and they are below:

Screen shot 1

Screen shot 2

What about android users? 

This app is not currently available for android users but there are a few different android alternatives which we would love a member to review for us – please get in touch if you are interested! 

Meet Pete!

Peter Dommett has just joined the Coalition team as the Project Manager for Tech to Community Connect.  Pete has created a wonderful blog post on his career in the Police force. (please attach the picture).


Image description: the image is a caricature  of Pete with various artefacts around him that represent bits of his career.  Most notably, he is wearing a rubber ring (read on to find out why!) and has as the machinery needed for distilling gin around him!  There is a crashed police car behind Pete and a ball and chain around his ankle.    

In Pete’s own words

Hello!  My name is Pete and I have just joined the Coalition. 

The attached print was created by my team on my retirement.

When you look at the photo you will see a number of elements the relate too along And I feel a very interesting career. we start in uniform and my career was mainly in uniform as I was never a fully trained detective. After training school at Ashford in Kent I was posted to Brighton as a beat officer covering the sea front and the pier. It was here 1 October evening that the first item on the pictures becomes relevant. A young lady taken to the water having swallowed an overdose of medication and was intent on dying by suicide. Arriving with my partner I was quickly dispatched into the sea to bring her back to safety an ambulance. I was never a strong swimmer but was very proud of what I did but only slightly upset when I discovered my partner was the force swimming champion. After a number of years at Brighton I transferred to mid Sussex and it is here that the police car in the picture becomes important. At 5:30 in the morning after Seven days of 12 hour nights I managed to turn a Ford Sierra lean burn police car upside down on a nearly straight Rd. There was then a famous conversation when I called up and said NB02 assistance needed. And the reply was NB02 change location and try again. In desperation I called once more NB02 I’m sorry I’m upside down and cannot change location.

After mid Sussex I worked at a number police station before promotion in 1995 as a Sergeant I ended up working in the cellblocks or as we call it police custody. This gives you the ball and chain around my leg in the picture. I enjoyed being a Sergeant working not only in an office but also with community teams keeping people safe. 2001 saw my promotion to inspector whilst working at headquarters. I returned to Brighton for five years where I saw all manner of wonderful and difficult things in that seaside city. I left Brighton and was briefly promoted to Chief Inspector and once again I ran the custody Department for Sussex Police.

I was fortunate when I was headhunted to work in counter terrorism policing for seven years. In the picture you see the explosives the top secret documents and spyglasses to demonstrate this posting. I could tell you so much about it but would have to shoot you afterwards. My final two years where was As a district commander returning to mid Sussex. As an experienced inspector i had time to indulge a number of my interests. One of which was to get a local gin distillery to make a charity gin for the chief constable’s charity for that year. it was called Bobby gin but sadly oh I suppose funnily in one email to the chief constable I called it booby gin. All in all at interesting 30 years with so much more done then this picture shows but it still makes me smile.