Welcome to Thomas Pocklington Trust’s website

Author: Sarah Anderson


My Guide Dog Training Experience

Alex Pepper, London Vision’s Networks Manager, 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 part...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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....

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Change Font Size

Zoom in Regular Zoom out

Featured Video

Click on the image below to view.

Twitter