Let me start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year – it is a little late in the month but I hope you have all settled back into work after a relaxing break and that you’re ready for 2016!

It has certainly been a busy time for us at Thomas Pocklington Trust. You may be aware that a fire broke out at Pier House, our central office in London, in the early hours of last Sunday morning. I’m relieved that no one was injured in the fire and my personal thanks and gratitude go to the London Fire Brigade for their bravery and hard work in controlling and putting out the fire.

Whilst this has been a disruption for us, and it is very unlikely we will return to Pier House, I am pleased to report that there has been minimal impact on our front line charitable activities and that is very good news.

I wanted to use this blog to look back on some of the high points of 2015 and some of our plans for the year ahead.

In 2015, the England Vision Strategy (EVS) and its six key priorities picked up some real momentum with regional events in Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Exeter. The progress is promising and I’m looking forward to continuing with this momentum with more regional events in early 2016 in Chippenham, Cambridge and Southampton. More information about the EVS regional events can be found here.

2015 saw the beginning of our exciting new strategic partnership with Visionary and we were really pleased to be a part of their annual conference which was a great success! We will continue to work with Visionary in 2016 on our shared goal of facilitating a more joined up sector.

I was also delighted that we were able to support new local services to help more people in Birmingham and London. I am keen to help even more people with sight loss and as we go through the year I will be pleased to share with you our plans for doing so.

Part of expanding our reach will involve significantly improving our communications. One of the first changes you will see is our new website which we hope to be in a position to launch before the end of the financial year. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@TPTgeneral) and Facebook!

Finally, but by no means least, is my aim to make sure that TPT is a truly inclusive place to work. Employment opportunities for people with sight loss is a topic I am particularly passionate about and I’m very happy with the early successes of our #WorksForMe employment programme. Since its launch in August 2015 six members have received offers of full-time paid employment and one support to retain work. Our team’s variety of workshops and events are proving popular so I hope 2016 brings more stories of success!

Peter Corbett
Chief Executive