Welcome to Thomas Pocklington Trust’s website

Author: Sarah Anderson


Job Title: Engagement Manager (Midlands)

We are recruiting for an Engagement Manager in the Midlands area to lead on the engagement with other eye sector partners and stakeholders, to deliver regional Sight Loss Councils across the Midlands. This will involve engaging with blind and partially sighted people across the region making sure that their voices are represented and to respond to key issues and themes as they arise. Read or download the Job Description. ‘How to Apply’ Please complete an Application and Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form and email to: applications@pocklington-trust.org.uk. Download the form here. (Please ensure you include the Job title within the subject...

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CEO Blog January

Firstly, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and is ready to get stuck into 2018. We have an exciting year ahead with lots of developments in the pipeline and I’m looking forward to seeing it all roll out. This month we have two important governance meetings, our Finance and Resources Committee Meeting on the 16th and the Board of Trustees meeting on the 23rd. We will be presenting our updated strategy and business plan to Trustees and hopefully getting their agreement so we can then...

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Job Title: Visionary Development Manager

Visionary are recruiting for a Development Manager to join their Development & Innovation team at an exciting time as the team, and the support that Visionary offers to members, continues to grow. The role will focus on supporting Visionary members across the UK to develop front line activities, identify gaps in service delivery and share good practice. Read or download the Job Description. ‘How to Apply’ Please complete an Application and Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form and email to: applications@pocklington-trust.org.uk. Download the form here. (Please ensure you include the Job title within the subject heading) Closing Date: 5pm on 28th...

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Thomas Pocklington Trust’s statement on the Government’s PIP response

The Government this week responded to the findings of the Second Independent Review of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Ministers have accepted, wholly or in part, all of the recommendations of Paul Gray’s review. This is welcome, but some aspects of Ministers’ response are disappointing. For example, deciding not automatically to issue claimants with their assessment reports misses an opportunity to detect errors and improve performance. Further, this week’s announcement takes place in a climate of criticism of poor assessments, poor decision-making, flawed reconsiderations of decisions and as a result, very high success rates for claimants at appeal. Strong criticisms...

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Visionary announcement: Interim CEO appointment

Fiona Sandford, currently CEO of Visibility in Scotland, will be taking on the role of interim CEO of Visionary when Alison Oliver goes on maternity leave in March 2018. The Visionary board members, the team and Alison are delighted to welcome Fiona to this position and look forward to her leadership over the coming year for the benefit of members and the blind and partially sighted people that they support. Graham Findlay, Chair of Visionary, said: “I am delighted to welcome Fiona into this role. She has many years of experience working in the sight loss sector and I’m...

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CEO Blog – Special Edition

With 2017 coming to an end, our Chief Executive Peter Corbett recently shared his thoughts on some of our highlights from this year in a new podcast. Peter also looks to the coming year and what our priorities are, including employment and expanding our work into more regions across the country. He talks about our recent Pocklington Pride Awards and some of our staff who won awards, and one of our colleagues Kyle who beautifully proposed to his girlfriend Chloe at the Awards. We would like to wish everyone a wonderful and safe festive season and all the best...

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My Guide Dog Training Experience

Alex Pepper, one of our Project Coordinators, recently got his first guide dog. Alex writes about his guide dog training experience and how his first guide dog River has already changed his life. After being on the waiting list for a guide dog for 12 months I was ecstatic when I got the call from the London team to let me know they may have a match. A big part of me almost didn’t believe it, it seemed a bit too good to be true, and so I arranged for a match walk the following week with a large...

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CEO Blog December

As we approach Christmas and this year starts to draw to a close we are starting to firm up our planning for next year and beyond. At the moment we still have a number of developing thoughts and loose ends that need to be tied up but by the middle of January we aim to have consulted with stakeholders and tied up those loose ends enough to form a draft plan for discussion with our Board of Trustees on the 23rd of January. After that, more detailed planning will be done with all of our staff so that all...

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Eye Health – preventing sight loss in London report launched

A London Eye Health Strategy should be developed to address the growing eye health issue in London, an investigation by the London Assembly Health Committee has recommended. The Health Committee has today launched its ‘Eye Health – preventing sight loss in London’ report, which Thomas Pocklington Trust was pleased to give evidence for. The report has found that eye health is a growing issue in London, with an extra 194,000 Londoners predicted to have a sight-threatening eye condition and an extra 74,000 with sight loss by 2030. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) estimates that there are...

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TPT responds to DWP’s ‘Improving Lives – The Future of Work, Health and Disability’

Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) welcomes the publication of the Government’s proposals for addressing the barriers to employment faced by disabled people (“Improving lives – the future of work, health and disability“). The Government has recognised the serious problem that only around half of disabled people of working age are in work. But the position for registered blind and partially sighted people is even worse, with only one in four in employment. The ambition to get a million more disabled people into work in the next ten years is welcome, but we do not see how the proposed improved training...

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TPT Response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2017

Thomas Pocklington Trust today responded to a Budget that, for blind and partially sighted people, was as notable for what was omitted as for what was there. It is disappointing that the ambition to increase employment among disabled people (a 1 million uplift in the next ten years is the Government target) received no mention. It should be central to discussion of economic development and employment policies. The employment rate for blind and partially sighted people of working age is around 25 per cent and falling. The increases in the “National Living Wage” and minimum wage for under-25s are...

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Fight for Sight, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Esme’s Umbrella are funding vital research into Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Thursday 16th November 2017 Today is the first ever Charles Bonnet Awareness Day and Fight for Sight has partnered with Thomas Pocklington Trust and Esme’s Umbrella to award a £15,000 grant to fund important research into Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). CBS is a serious side effect of sight loss. It produces vivid, silent, visual hallucinations which range from disturbing to terrifying. More than 100,000 people in the UK are thought to have CBS – and it could be as many as three quarters of a million – but people are not daring to confide in their GP, family or...

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Thomas Pocklington Trust, Fight for Sight and Esme’s Umbrella are funding vital research into Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Today is the first ever Charles Bonnet Awareness Day and we have partnered with Fight for Sight to award a £15,000 grant to fund important research into Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), with support from Esme’s Umbrella. CBS is a serious side effect of sight loss. It produces vivid, silent, visual hallucinations which range from disturbing to terrifying. More than 100,000 people in the UK are thought to have CBS – and it could be as many as three quarters of a million – but people are not daring to confide in their GP, family or friends, because they are...

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Marsha de Cordova talks about being a visually impaired MP

On June 9, Marsha de Cordova left Thomas Pocklington Trust after being elected as the Labour MP for Battersea. Marsha has now been appointed as the Shadow Minister for Disabled People. Marsha has been speaking with our media consultant Tom Walker about her visual impairment, life before politics and how she deals with the challenges she faces as a visually impaired MP. Listen to our podcast with Marsha de Cordova MP Photo credit: Marsha de Cordova’s Facebook...

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TPT Volunteer wins Mayoral Award

Congratulations to Thomas Pocklington Trust volunteer Helen Tran who has won a Community Action Award at the Team London Awards. Helen, who is visually impaired, has been recognised for her volunteer work as a Telephone Befriender with Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT). Our Telephone Befrienders phone blind or partially sighted service users, who are isolated and struggle to get out on their own, weekly to provide them with regular, friendly contact. Helen has been a volunteer with TPT since 2012 in a variety of roles and a Telephone Befriender since 2014. “It really makes me happy volunteering as a Telephone...

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CEO Blog November

Some of you may already know that Rodney Powell, the Chair of our Board of Trustees, has been diagnosed with lung cancer and had an operation last week. The good news is that it is treatable. But Jenny Pearce will serve as Acting Chair for the time being so that Rodney can be freed from his trustee responsibilities and focus on getting back to full strength. I am sure that you will all join me in wishing Rodney all the very best and a full and speedy recovery. I hope many people have had the opportunity to listen to my...

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Thomas Pocklington Trust mourn the passing of Roger Clifton

We were saddened to hear that our colleague Roger Clifton has passed after long-term illness. Roger was Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Director of Collaboration and he was the founding Chief Executive of East London Vision. Our Chief Executive Peter Corbett has recorded a tribute to Roger and the incredible contribution he has made. Listen to Peter Corbett’s tribute to Roger...

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My network travel experience with customers with visual impairments

George Rogers, a representative from the West Midlands Combined Authority, writes to his colleagues about his experience catching public transport while wearing sim-specs with Thomas Pocklington Trust staff and members of the Birmingham Sight Loss Council. On a wet Friday afternoon in September I joined my colleague Anna Sirmoglou and two visually impaired customers for a tour around our transport network from a visual impairment perspective. Andy an Mark, members of the Birmingham Sight Loss Council, met me with smiles and I soon realised that I would be the guinea pig on the day: I thought I would be...

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Birmingham Sight Loss Council helps transport company see bus challenges

“I couldn’t do this independently.” George Rogers, a representative from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), was taken on a bus journey by the Birmingham Sight Loss Council (BSLC) while wearing sim-specs simulating retinitis pigmentosa. The sight loss council, a group of visually impaired volunteers set up by Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) to advocate for the needs of blind and partially sighted people in Birmingham, wanted to demonstrate to TfWM the challenges faced by visually impaired people as part of their efforts to improve public transport. George found catching the bus while wearing sim-specs incredibly difficult. “I didn’t enjoy the...

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CEO Blog October

I want to start off by introducing an exciting addition to my blog we’re trialling – a new supplementary audio recording! The recordings, produced by media consultant Tom Walker, will provide some further insight into my thoughts on the events and activities Thomas Pocklington Trust is involved with. This month’s edition was recorded last week on 27th September. We hope you’ll send some feedback on the recordings to help us develop them! We are in the midst of working on a collaborative project with Guide Dogs, RNIB, Vision UK and Visionary with management consultancy firm Oliver Wyman to review...

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One million Brits living with avoidable sight loss

This National Eye Health Week (18- 24 September) eye health experts are warning that one million people in the UK are living with avoidable sight loss severe enough to leave them unable to do things such as drive. Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB’s) State of the Nation’s Eyes Report 2017 revealed this number is forecast to increase by a third by 2030 if we don’t take action now. Almost 14 million of us fail to have regular eye tests, however not having regular eye tests, once every two years unless advised otherwise by an optometrist, is a...

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Meet Elise – Kingston VI Parliament MP

Elise, who is visually impaired herself, has been a volunteer MP of the Kingston VI Parliament since it first started in September 2014. The Kingston VI Parliament sees blind and partially sighted people elected as MPs to represent the wider visually impaired community in the borough, discussing issues that affect them and helping to empower people with sight loss to influence and improve all aspects of their lives. Elise’s specialist area is Employment. Through her volunteer work with the VI Parliament, she has been helping to develop a safer and more accessible environment and create better employment opportunities and...

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Meet Hubert – Link Up Volunteer

Hubert, 78, has been a dedicated volunteer with Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Link Up service for more than three years. Hubert had been his wife’s carer and after she sadly passed away he wanted to continue helping people where there was need. He has previously done volunteer work, first back in 1966 at the Football World Cup. When Hubert started volunteering with us he was only supporting people on a one-to-one basis but he now also helps out at our group activities across London. Hubert has supported people on a range of outings, including a tandem ride on the streets...

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Meet Linda – Metro Blind Sport Volunteer Tennis Coordinator

Linda Almond is a dedicated volunteer for Metro Blind Sport and has been supporting people with sight loss to access and enjoy weekly tennis sessions since 2011. Linda first discovered her love of tennis 20 years ago when she started playing for a local team. One day, she attended the Blind Tennis Championships in Roehampton where she met Roy Smith, Director of Metro Blind Sport, and happened to say “if you are ever in Islington and need a hand” which is where Linda’s volunteering journey began. Linda enjoys an active and varied volunteering role at the Islington Tennis Centre...

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Meet Lauren – Events & Activity Volunteer

Lauren Sloan, 30, started volunteering with our associated charity South East London Vision (SELVis) in October 2016, and is now an Events & Activity Volunteer in Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Volunteer Pool. Lauren works full time in fashion production for film and photography campaigns. Since she started volunteering, Lauren has supported service users on various activities from walks in parks and woods to gallery exhibitions, bowling and circus excursions, and mostly volunteers in south London. She finds her volunteering role rewarding. When asked why she was interested in the volunteering, Lauren said it was because “such a small amount of...

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Meet Judy – Eye Clinic Support Service Volunteer

Judy* is one of Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Eye Clinic Support Service volunteers, based at one of Moorfields Eye Hospital’s satellite sites in East London. She is retired but stays active by volunteering for causes that she has a personal connection with. Her father had glaucoma, while her son-in-law also has a visual impairment and uses a guide dog. As an Eye Clinic Support Service volunteer Judy provides emotional and practical support to patients who have recently been diagnosed with sight loss or are receiving treatment. The Sister at the Moorfields clinic said: “The patients really enjoy having a chat with (Judy) and she does a lot to make patients comfortable and ease their journey through the department.” Many of the patients are older and may not have anyone to accompany them to their appointments. One time, an elderly gentleman, who had mobility problems, didn’t have money to get a taxi back home and wasn’t sure which bus to catch. Judy reported it to the clinic staff and they organised a taxi for him to get home safely. Judy says she loves her volunteer role and finds it very rewarding. She meets a lot of different people and sometimes the same patients come back so she has got to know some of them. “People thank me when they leave and say that I’ve made the experience a lot easier for...

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Meet Catherine – Link Up Volunteer

Catherine McKeag is a Link Up Volunteer with Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) who has been supporting people who are blind or partially sighted to make trips around London since February 2017. Catherine discovered TPT at a networking event through her work, a charity supporting museums. She supports people on a diverse range of trips from walks around Hyde Park and Saturday evening trips to music concerts to guided visits around historic sites in London, all helping to increase their independence. Catherine has found that the volunteering times are flexible and fit around her full time job. “TPT has given...

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Meet Saqib – Birmingham Vision Service User

Saqib Hussain, 41, has always enjoyed taking part in sport. When he relocated to Birmingham, leaving behind his family and friends, he wanted to find out what sports were available to a visually impaired person in the city. By attending social groups organised by our associated charity Birmingham Vision, which are run by staff and volunteers, Saqib found out about the variety of other services the charity offers, including a wide range of sport and recreational opportunities. Birmingham Vision’s Sports Participation Co-ordinator Luke Hedley informed Saqib about the sports available to him and supported him in joining clubs of...

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CEO Blog September

In my last blog I referred to the summer lull; well we’re back into the full swing of things now and serious planning for the future is kicking off with a vengeance! You may be interested to know that we are working on a robust sustainable long-term financial plan for Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT). And when I say long term, I really mean it – we have a spreadsheet going out to 2036! The reason why we’re long term planning is to make sure we have a solid, sustainable foundation for our developing charitable activity which will include supporting...

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Looking Out For Sight training for local charities

Wiltshire Sight, in partnership with Visionary and Thomas Pocklington Trust, are delivering free courses for local charities to become Looking Out For Sight trainers. Looking Out For Sight (LO4S) is a high impact, low cost training programme designed especially for delivery in health and social care settings. It aims to increase care workers’ knowledge and overall understanding of sight loss so they can better care for visually impaired people. The training programme raises awareness of the importance of eye health and has proven to have a positive impact on staff, residents and the relationship between the setting and society....

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