Welcome to the first newsletter of 2018. Your committee has been busy planning some interesting courses for the year, and we hope that there is something that will interest you.

As many of you will recall at the AGM you the members showed a desire to change from paying a yearly subscription to being a non-paying contact member and your committee has put this in place.

We have been reminded by HMRC that we are still able to claim Gift Aid on any donations you send us, although not of course on the fees for courses themselves.

Although at present we have a healthy bank balance, this will be depleted over time, especially if course costs work out more than have been accounted for or run at a loss due to low numbers of attendees and have to be subsidised by funds.

In future donations can be sent to Anna Gardiner who looks after the Membership Contact list, Isobel Phillips either when you book a course or on its own or to me Lyn. Either way it would be good to hear from you confirming what you have done.

If you have not registered for gift-aid with us in the past, please contact Lyn for a gift-aid declaration form. We look forward to meeting you on a future course.
Lyne Oliver and Jess (the dog), Gift Aid Secretary.


Tuesday 8th - Friday 11th May - 3 nights
Staying at Wild Goose Lodge, Slimbridge, Glos
Lead Tutor - Karen Colebourn
Cost Students £275, Guides £225
To include accommodation, breakfast, 2 course evening meals and some snacks, all outings.
Nearest stations are Cam, 5 miles away accessible from Bristol or Stonehouse, 8 miles away accessible from London or Birmingham. Transfers to be decided with participants nearer the time.

We have sole use of the comfortable privately run lodge which will include use of kitchen and lounge. Students will have a single room. Guides will be required to share. Bathrooms are shared, but there are plenty of them.

Because of the nature of this course numbers are STRICTLY LIMITED to 7 students and 7 guides on a first come first served basis, and deposits
must be paid with booking to secure a place.

This is a course for the serious birder, rising early and a quick snack if required to start a 2.5 hour session of listening to birdsong, led by a guide from the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust, on all 3 mornings. They have asked that guide dogs are discouraged on this early morning session if possible and they can be left with the lodge owner. A mid morning drink and breakfast bap is taken at the centre followed by free time to enjoy the wildfowl reserve, where lunch can be purchased if required.

There will be 2 afternoons of birding at different habitats. We will have a 2 course home cooked meal at the Lodge on one evening and 2 evenings at a nearby pub. Evenings will be free to relax or listen to birdsong CDs.

Monday 6th - Friday 10th August - 4 nights
Tutor - Julian Williamson
Accommodation and venue - New College Worcester
Cost - to be advised

Some of you will remember when Julian led a course on Brahms in Wolverhampton a few years ago. Julian will bring Elgar to life with tales of his life and listening to his music. There will also be some local outings. More details to follow.

Accommodation will be mostly in single rooms with washbasins and shared bathrooms, although there are some twin rooms. Some guides may have to share.

Thursday 11th - Monday 15th October - 4 nights
Staying at The Village Hotel, Dudley
Cost - to be advised
Nearest station Dudley Port, on the outskirts of Birmingham

The accommodation is in a comfortable hotel with bars and sitting areas and an indoor swimming pool. A 2 course evening meal will be included.

Guides will be required to share ensuite rooms. However, it might be possible to secure a single room at an extra cost but because of the hotel booking requirements this would have to be indicated by mid June.

Proposed itinerary at the moment to include a day at the Black Country Museum. This fascinating reconstructed village has houses, shops, pub, mine, forge, canal basin etc. with rides in an old bus and tram. A visit to the glass making area which was a major industry in that area and a trip on a canal boat into the tunnels with a guide. It is hoped to engage some local speakers.

PLEASE NOTE - There will be a 20 minute walk to venues on 2 of the days and walking around the Black Country Museum most of the day, so a certain amount of fitness is required.


Courses should be booked with Isobell Phillips, Course Co-ordinator, on 07731 867931 or email There is a deposit of £50 per person for all courses, which must be made at the time of booking.
If you are booking on the Bird Song course between 12-28th February then please phone Mary Goodlad on 0114 249 2023 or email



This was my first Adventure In Learning holiday. I had passed through Folkestone many years earlier to visit the continent before the days of the Euro-tunnel but knew nothing about the town or its history.

We stayed at a lovely hotel on the cliffs to the west of the port. It was ideally placed being near a wide promenade that stretched in both directions with the sea way below us. The hotel owners were real dog lovers and had an enclose garden and there was plenty of dog walking space in the vicinity. The food and accommodation were both excellent.

There were helpful people on hand to give us the local history, particularly into the wartime period and we were within walking distance of the main port.

Our days out included a visit to Dover Castle. We went to Canterbury and enjoyed the Chaucer Experience followed by a wonderful tour of Canterbury Cathedral. Our last day was spent at the Battle of Britain Museum and a return to Folkestone for their town museum. We were able to feel some of their exhibits both at the Cathedral and in the Folkestone museum.

I found it all a fascinating experience, not least because of the wonderful people I met who were also participants on the course.

Thank you so much to those who organised the whole event.

Janet Granville - 'Student'



New members of Add-Venture in Learning may wonder why the visually impaired person is described as a student. This is not because our courses are strict and require you to sit exams! Educational courses for visually impaired adults used to be held by Bristol University where there were professionals to lead the courses at a high level and they were highly subsidised. But when the funding was cut and these courses ceased a group of regular 'students' and guides got together and formed Add-Venture In Learning in 2006 to continue to run courses of an educational nature.

Hence the word 'student' has continued, although our learning today is of a far more relaxed nature.

CAMPING IN SURREY: 2nd-9th June 2018

For the outdoor lover a camp is run each year at Woodlarks in Farnham, Surrey by Alternative Vision. Accommodation is in shared fixed tents or dormitories or you can take your own tent. There are plenty of bathroom facilities, a dining and meeting room and indoor kitchen. There is an outdoor heated swimming pool.

The week is mostly unstructured with walks on the surrounding heath land or to the town. All participants are asked to share in the chores, although there is a cook.

If you are interested contact Jon Ridge at Alternative Vision by email - or
Isobell Phillips at or 07731 867931




Chairman: Andrew Hodgson - 0208740 1109 -
Vice Chairman: Dorothy Killick - 01823 28327-
Secretary: Doreen Tyler - 01752 338949 -
Newsletter Editor: Rita Allsopp - 01928 726231-
Course Co-ordinator: Isobell Phillips - 07731 867931 -
Membership Sec: Anna Gardiner -01793 780173 -
Audio Format Production: Lyn Oliver - 01367 241931-
Publicity: Barbara Rickitt - 01460 281226 -
Treasurer: David Killick - 01753 891539 -
Committee member: Mary Goodlad - 0114 2492023


If you no longer want to receive copies of this newsletter it would be helpful if you could let the membership secretary know.