Welcome to Thomas Pocklington Trust’s website

Author: Sarah Anderson


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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Job Title: Development and Innovation Coordinator (Maternity Cover)

Visionary is looking for a Development and Innovation Coordinator (Maternity Cover) to join the team reporting into the Development and Innovation Manager. This role will support the Development and Innovation Manager to deliver Visionary member services which will involve delivering general support to the Visionary team and Visionary members including areas such as quality frameworks, rehabilitation, social and leisure, technology and communications, finance and benefits. 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. (Please ensure you include the Job title within the subject...

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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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Job Title: Head of Member Services (Visionary)

Visionary is looking for a Head of Member Services to join the Senior Management Team alongside the existing Head of Income Development and reporting into the CEO. This role will be responsible for leading the strategic planning and delivery of Visionary’s member engagement and service development activities including the management of the Member Engagement and Development & Innovation teams, and providing direct advice and support to members in the development of their activities working with blind and partially sighted people. Read or download the job description. ‘How to Apply’ Please complete an Application and Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form and email...

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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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Meet Mihaela – Events & Activity Volunteer

Mihaela Buibas, 25, started volunteering with our associated charity South East London Vision in 2016 after signing up at a Lewisham volunteer fair, and is now an Events & Activity Volunteer in Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Volunteer Pool. Mihaela, who is from Romania and moved to the UK almost two years ago, has mostly volunteered in the Lewisham and Greenwich areas, guiding members and supporting staff. She has supported a variety of events and activities, including flamenco dancing, social meals, a tea dance and walks. “I hope I can make a difference just by being a part of this great...

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Local councils urged to make it easier for people with disabilities to be active

Local councils should clear pavements of obstructions and make pedestrians crossing accessible to make it easier for people with limited mobility to be more active in their area. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released draft guidance for local councils which aim to help people be more active through improvements to the built environment and better access. NICE provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. The Physical activity and the environment NICE guideline update advises authorities to encourage people to visit their parks and local open spaces, among a number of recommendations for people with...

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Meet Mohammed – Birmingham Sight Loss Council Volunteer

Mohammed Abbas Rashid is well known to people living with sight loss in Birmingham. He has volunteered for almost every sight loss organisation in the area and continues to love what he does. Mohammed was born blind with Leber’s congenital amaurosis, this condition has also affected other members of his family including his brother, two of his nephews and his niece. Mohammed’s ultimate goal is to become an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) so he can support more people on their sight loss journey using his own experiences. Currently, Mohammed volunteers as part of the Birmingham Sight Loss Council...

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Looking directly at the sun during the solar eclipse could damage your eyes

People are being warned not to look directly at the sun during the solar eclipse to protect their eyes on Monday, 21st August. The UK will witness a partial solar eclipse, which happens when the moon comes between the sun and the earth, with only 4 per cent of the sun covered by the moon, while the United States experiences a total solar eclipse, plunging 11 American states into darkness for several minutes. The eclipse will start shortly after 7pm on Monday in the UK with a maximum sun coverage at 8pm. People may be tempted to look directly at the sun...

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Research on the experiences of living with visual impairment and making ends meet

We are looking for visually impaired people to share their experiences of living on a budget and costs involved for a new research project. We have commissioned Loughborough University to find out about the experiences of being visually impaired and living on a budget. Life can cost more if you are visually impaired but we want to know what this means for people on an everyday basis? We are interested in people’s views and experiences to help improve understanding about the issues that visually impaired people face in making ends meet. We are looking for visually impaired people to...

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People try out new sports at free Multi-VI Sports Festival in Sutton

Visually Impaired people in South West London enjoyed a free day of sporting activities recently. Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT), in collaboration with Sutton Vision, Better Sutton Sports Village, Crystal Palace Football Club and Metro Blind Sport, ran a free Multi-VI Sports Festival in Sutton on 29th July. The 20 participants got to try out sports including VI football, VI tennis, an audio described dance class and a gym circuit session. Alex Pepper, a Project Coordinator at TPT who helped organise the event, said the event was a pilot activity day for the VI community in South West London to encourage...

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Prudential Ride London 46 on a tandem bike

Alex Pepper, 27, has been sight impaired his whole life and lost his functional sight in early 2016. Alex, a Project Coordinator at Thomas Pocklington Trust, has written about his experience training for and cycling in Prudential Ride London 46. Entering the Ride London 46 was something I hadn’t really planned to do initially.  It came about after speaking to Wheels for Wellbeing about arranging some tandem cycling track events in Croydon for the local visually impaired (VI) residents to try out.  Abigail, who worked for the charity, told me about her experience doing the ride last year, and...

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CEO Blog August

As trailed in last month’s blog, our summer staff conference activities featured a bake off competition which I had the privilege of judging, alongside our Chief Operating Officer Sharon Billingham. All 13 cakes were absolutely marvellous! It was part of a week of activities which brought our staff together. Sadly, I was unable to participate in the Zumba, tea dance and yoga classes but I did struggle along to the pub quiz! I would like to congratulate Ellie Southwood on being confirmed as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees at Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)...

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Learning to swim with South East London Vision

Ian Rattray, a 52-year-old member of South East London Vision (SELVis), has written about his experience taking swimming lessons organised by SELVis and the charity Sense. Ian was born short-sighted so he has never had 20:20 vision, and he was recently diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. My first experience of water as a child was not a good one. When I was around 4 or 5 my sister and I managed to capsize a pedalo.  I had to be rescued from the pool we were in.  This was not helped by swimming lessons at school where I was generally ignored....

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NHS England releases review of the Accessible Information Standard

There is widespread support for the Accessible Information Standard introduced last year, a review of the Standard has revealed. NHS England has today released its review of the Accessible Information Standard, which must be followed by all organisations that provide NHS care and/or publicly-funded adult social care. The Standard, which became a requirement for all organisations on 1st August 2016, aims to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information that they can easily read and understand so they can communicate effectively with health and social care services. NHS has reviewed...

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New report finds disabled people are being marginalised

One in four disabled people experience loneliness on a typical day, a new report launched by Sense has revealed. The research, conducted as part of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, reveals that disabled people in the UK are still being marginalised by negative public attitude, with a quarter (26 per cent) of Brits admitting that they had avoided conversations with disabled people. Only half (52 per cent) of those responding to the study believed that they had much in common with disabled people, whilst ‘fear of causing offence’ (30 per cent), ‘feeling uncomfortable’ (20 per cent) or ‘not knowing...

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Guide Home Page

Housing Guide for People with Sight Loss Introduction This online guide aims to share information for visually impaired people who are looking for a new home, seeking to live independently for the first time or experiencing problems in their current accommodation.  It will share personal experiences from visually impaired people who have different life circumstances, provide useful suggestions, and signpost to sources for further advice. If you have any comments or ideas about the information in the guide, please email us at Research@pocklington-trust.org.uk. To browse the guide, or to help us direct you to the most relevant information, please select a...

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Launch of Online Housing Guide for Visually Impaired People Looking for a New Home

Leading sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) has developed an innovative online housing guide designed to assist younger adults with visual impairment find a new home. The Housing guide for people with sight loss – launched today – provides information and advice for visually impaired people who are looking for a new home, seeking to live independently for the first time or experiencing problems in their current accommodation. It covers everything from student housing and tips for living in a shared house to the moving process, assistive technology and support for living independently and more. The guide, funded...

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Launch of Online Housing Guide for Visually Impaired People Looking for a New Home

Leading sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) has developed an innovative online housing guide designed to assist younger adults with visual impairment find a new home. The Housing guide for people with sight loss – launched today – provides information and advice for visually impaired people who are looking for a new home, seeking to live independently for the first time or experiencing problems in their current accommodation. It covers everything from student housing and tips for living in a shared house to the moving process, assistive technology and support for living independently and more. The guide, funded...

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CEO Blog July

I am very pleased to welcome two new Trustees to the Thomas Pocklington Trust board! Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea, and Graham Findlay, Chief Executive of North East Sensory Services in Scotland, have joined our Board of Trustees today. We are grateful to them both for their time and wealth of knowledge. It is wonderful that Marsha has joined our board after stepping down as Director of Engagement & Advocacy at TPT when she was elected to represent Battersea last month. I would like to congratulate Marsha again on her election. I know that she will be a...

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