Welcome to Thomas Pocklington Trust’s website

Author: Sarah Anderson


Hair, Make up and Skincare Workshop for People with Sight Loss is a Fantastic Success

Ambassador for RP Fighting Blindness, Bhavini Makwana, organised a hair, make up and skincare workshop for anyone with sight loss who wanted to learn new techniques, seek advice on looking after their skin and enjoy a make over by industry professionals. Hosted at the Pocklington Hub on 18th March, the sold out event was a huge success. Attendees took part in four 30 minute sessions which saw professional hair and make up artists talk through a range of topics including how to create different looks using the best style and colours for individuals, easy to create hair styles as...

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Thomas Pocklington Trust commended in Scottish Parliament for Championing the needs of people with Sight Loss following latest research

Stuart McMillan MSP and Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Visual Impairment has praised Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) for raising awareness of the challenges people with sight loss face in the community and for its work to remove these barriers. A parliamentary motion was submitted to the Scottish Parliament to recognise the contributions of Thomas Pocklington Trust and Housing Options Scotland. The commendation follows the recently published report “Evaluation of a housing brokerage scheme for younger adults with visual impairment” in which housing brokerage was reported to be an effective method for assisting younger adults with...

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Lord Chris Holmes opens meeting room named in his honour

LORD Chris Holmes has officially opened a meeting room named in his honour at the Pocklington Hub. Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) has named the meeting rooms at its head office – the Pocklington Hub – after well-known visually impaired people, including one named after Lord Holmes, Baron of Richmond, MBE. Lord Holmes is Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer, with a tally of nine gold medals, five silver medals and one bronze medal. He entered the House of Lords in 2013 and has focused his time on employment, education and skills, media and sport, and the digital opportunity. Lord Holmes...

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People urged to have their eyes tested during World Glaucoma Week

PEOPLE are being encouraged to have regular eye examinations as part of World Glaucoma Week this week. World Glaucoma Week (12 to 18 March), organised by the World Glaucoma Association and World Glaucoma Patient Association,  aims to eliminate glaucoma blindness by alerting people to have regular eye checks, including optic nerve checks. The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and Specsavers have joined forces to run a campaign to raise awareness of glaucoma during World Glaucoma Week. Glaucoma – often described as the ‘silent thief of sight’ due to its gradual onset – causes damage to the optic nerve. It affects...

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TPT’s Response to the Budget 2017

Wednesday saw the announcement of overall, a very light Budget. Having ignored the Care Sector in his Autumn Statement last year, the Chancellor was forced to address the funding shortfall. The news of an additional £2 billion to Councils in England over the next three years to spend on adult social care is welcome. £1 billion of this will be provided in 2017-18, ensuring Councils can take immediate action to fund care packages for more people, support social care providers, and relieve pressure on the NHS locally. It indicates that the Government is starting to listen, however there is still a long way to go. The Green paper which will be published in autumn should determine how this additional money will help solve some of the problems caused by social care funding. It is worth drawing attention to the confirmation that the Government will be ignoring the rulings of two tribunals which advised that the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) should cover a broader spectrum of claimants – specifically those with psychological problems and those who need help to take medication and monitor a health condition. Instead the Government is going to stick with its ‘original policy intent’. Although this does not directly affect people with sight loss it is important any developments surrounding PIP are monitored closely. The Budget sought to invest in, and improve, skills including Return to...

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Housing brokerage an effective tool to help younger adults with visual impairment find new homes

Thursday 9th March 2017 Housing brokerage is an effective method for assisting younger adults with visual impairment to find a new home, an evaluation of an innovative pilot service has found. The evaluation report, released by sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) (1) today, found that the majority of younger adults who used the pilot brokerage service that was run by Housing Options Scotland (HOS) (2) had a positive outcome. The report, Evaluation of a Housing Brokerage Scheme for younger adults with visual impairment (3), evaluated the brokerage service, funded by TPT, for younger adults aged 16-44 that...

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Celebrating International Women’s Day 2017

#BeBoldForChange Today is International Women’s Day – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year, International Women’s Day is calling on people to Be Bold For Change, helping to make a better working world – a more gender inclusive world. As an organisation, Thomas Pocklington Trust shares the values of inclusivity and equality, and encourages people to support the day and Be Bold For Change! In the sight loss community, there are countless inspirational women who have forged pathways to improve the lives of people with visual impairment.  Helen Keller, who became...

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Bank – Personal Assistant

Bank – Personal Assistant Closing date – 24th March 2017 Interview date – TBC Read the Job Description here How to Apply If you are interested in applying for this role then please follow these steps: Complete an Application and Equal Opportunities monitoring form. Download form here Email completed Application form to...

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Bank – Personal Assistant Job Description

Bank Personal Assistant Thomas Pocklington Trust: Thomas Pocklington Trust is a national charity dedicated to delivering positive change for people with sight loss. Our Values: Making a Difference – the lives of people with visual impairments are better because of what we do Working in Partnership – we work collaboratively together and with all our partners and stakeholders Respect – we treat people the way we would like to be treated Quality – we set clear goals and high standards and work efficiently and effectively to achieve them Participation – we place the participation of blind and partially sighted people at the heart of everything we do Thomas Pocklington Trust aims to be a fulfilling and enjoyable place to work; we know this enthusiasm plays a key role in delivering high quality services to our service users, we also recognise the crucial role each and every one of us plays in helping to achieve our goals. Join us! Role: Bank Personal Assistant Department: Various Reporting to: Head of Department, Assisted Staff member Location: London (Euston) Duration: Zero Hour Contract Salary: £12.00 per hour Main purpose of role: To provide sighted one to one support for Thomas Pocklington Trust   employees who are blind or partially sighted which enables them to retain employment and succeed within their job. You are required to work flexibly, undertaking the work as directed by the...

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CEO Blog March

Thomas Pocklington Trust co-hosted a very important Parliamentary Reception, sponsored by Nusrat Ghani MP, at the Houses of Parliament yesterday (Monday 6th March) to launch the “Experiences of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for People with Sensory Loss” research report in partnership with RNIB and Sense. We were delighted to welcome Lord Colin Low, who joined us to share his thoughts on the research and recommendations. The research, conducted by NatCen Social Research, explores the experiences of 53 people with sensory impairments transitioning from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP. It found that the PIP application process was considered overwhelmingly...

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Leading charities launch report in Parliament to improve the lives of people with sensory loss

Monday 6th March 2017 On Monday 6th March, leading sensory loss charities Thomas Pocklington Trust, Sense and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) hosted an event in the Houses of Parliament to launch their report entitled “Experiences of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for People with Sensory Loss”. The report was produced by the three charities in partnership with NatCen, Britain’s leading independent social research institute. The report highlights the experiences of people living with sensory loss, in navigating the PIP process. While it revealed that people with sensory loss eventually received a positive financial outcome following the switch...

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Leading charities launch report in Parliament to improve the lives of people with sensory loss

On Monday 6th March, leading sensory loss charities Thomas Pocklington Trust, Sense and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) hosted an event in the Houses of Parliament to launch their report entitled “Experiences of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for People with Sensory Loss”. The report was produced by the three charities in partnership with NatCen, Britain’s leading independent social research institute. The report highlights the experiences of people living with sensory loss, in navigating the PIP process. While it revealed that people with sensory loss eventually received a positive financial outcome following the switch to PIP from Disability...

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I am or will be a student

I am or will be a student Student housing Going off to college or university can be a great opportunity to get a taste of living independently, but how do you go about finding suitable accommodation? What might you need to consider and where can you go for information, advice and support? Choosing between the different types of student housing Which? University and the National Union of Students have put together a useful list of pros and cons for each of the main housing options for students: University Halls Private Halls Private accommodation Living at Home See: http://university.which.co.uk/advice/student-accommodation/how-to-pick-the-right-student-accommodation-for-you Certainly for your first year, university halls are a popular option with all students, including those with sight loss. They tend to be on or close to the campus so you should be able to get to lectures without needing to take a bus and they can be a good way of getting to know other students. Tim (a young visually impaired adult who had tried out a number of different housing options while studying) told us: ‘Halls have people watching over them – like wardens or security guards or whatever – so they are quite well-governed. If anything happens or there are any problems, they will get solved.’ Universities generally prioritise students with disabilities when allocating places in halls, so make sure to give information about your access requirements when you...

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I need information on living independently;

I need information on living independently Living independently can involve specialist training, the use of assistive aids, technologies and support services.  Some options work better for some people and it might take trial and error to find the most suitable approach for you. This section will signpost you to potential useful resources and sources of advice or information to help explore independent living opportunities.  Please select a link to browse a specific area: Equipment and technology Support for Independent Living Courses on Independent Living Local Sensory Centres and Sensory Impairment Training Cooking with Sight Loss Reading Mail Lighting Equipment and Technology Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced a guide to assistive and inclusive technology that can help with daily activities in and around the home (AIT guide 2016). Find it here. Computer Room Services provides technologies to assist with everyday communication and access to independent living: http://www.comproom.co.uk/ The RNIB online shop provides a wide range of equipment designed for living independently: http://shop.rnib.org.uk/ Many people with sight loss use smartphone apps for a variety of independent living tasks; for example, object identification and navigation assistance. Several identification apps such as BeSpecular, provide virtually immediate human answers in response to almost any conceivable practical identification question, while BlindSquare is one of several GPS apps that have been specifically designed to offer visually impaired people enhanced mobility orientation information when out and about. There...

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I need information on the moving process;

I need information on the moving process Moving house is among one of the most stressful times for any person.  This section aims to highlight aspects you may wish to plan as a visually impaired individual before a move, and suggests potential sources of information.  If there are any additional aspects you feel should be covered here, please contact us with your suggestions. Please select the link to browse a specific area: Packing and Removals Bin Collections Travel and Route Training Long-cane and symbol cane mobility information Mobility Training Information for Guide Dog Owners   Packing and Removals  One of the decisions people need to make is how much furniture they might require in a new home or what existing furniture would be suitable for the new home.  The British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/shop/donating-goods/book-a-free-furniture-collection provide a free furniture donation or furniture provision service. Often, family and friends will help out with packing up belongings and the transport of these to a new home.  However, when outside assistance is required it can be a challenge to find a reliable individual or company. It may be worthwhile contacting your local sensory centre or sensory impairment team. They might know of local volunteers who would be willing to help pack, move or unpack boxes during your home move.  Please see the list of sensory centres and sensory impairment teams in the previous section...

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I am homeless or facing homelessness/eviction;

I am homeless or facing homelessness/eviction If you are legally homeless or threatened with homelessness, your local council’s homelessness team should be able to help. They should be able to provide temporary accommodation and help you apply for settled housing or assistance to resolve a housing issue.  You will be viewed as homeless if you have no home in the UK or elsewhere in the world. This does not mean that you need to be sleeping on the streets. Common circumstances that make people homeless include: Social or private tenant facing eviction; Home-owner facing repossession by the mortgage lender; Experiencing violent abuse or harassment; or Condition of the property is damaging the health of the household. Your rights are slightly different depending on whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales. For example, in England, if you do not have children with you, you will need to show that you are ‘in priority need’. Having a significant visual impairment should mean that you qualify, but you will need to explain this within your application and be clear about how this would put you at more risk as a homeless person than someone who does not have a visual impairment. It is always worth talking to an advisor outside of the council about your situation too and doing this, if you can, before the situation deteriorates to a crisis. There...

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I need to move urgently – I don’t feel safe where I am living now;

I need to move urgently – I don’t feel safe where I am living now There may be a number of reasons for this: domestic abuse (including abuse by partners or family members); or fear or experiences of crime or harassment from others. These experiences can be particularly challenging for individuals with a visual impairment – the prospect of moving out of your home can be even more daunting and not all support services are fully accessible. We consider harassment or anti-social behaviour in the next section Domestic abuse These include physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual forms of abuse. It’s abuse if your partner or a family member: threatens you shoves or pushes you makes you fear for your physical safety puts you down, or attempts to undermine your self-esteem controls you, for example by stopping you seeing your friends and family is jealous and possessive, such as being suspicious of your friendships and conversations frightens you In addition to this, your abuser may: remove equipment that you need to be independent (like your cane or your mobile phone); use your sight loss to taunt or degrade you There is some useful information on domestic abuse and disability on this page: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/the-survivors-handbook/the-survivors-handbook-disabled-women/ You can get emergency 24-hour help by calling the following Freephone numbers: The National Domestic Violence Helpline Run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge in...

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My current home requires repairs or adaptations;

My Current home requires repairs or adaptations This section covers guidance on repairs or adaptations. Please choose one of the following links to direct you to the appropriate information: I need information on repairs I need information on adaptations Repairs If you rent in the private or social sectors, your landlord is always responsible for repairs to the property.  This includes: The property’s structure and exterior; Basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains; Heating and hot water; Gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation; Electrical wiring; Any damage they cause by attempting repairs; Damage due to wear and tear. It is your responsibility as the tenant to report any repairs to your landlord as soon as they arise.  Your tenancy will set out your responsibilities as the tenant to pay for any deliberate or accidental damage to the property.  For example, if you stain or burn a carpet you may be expected to cover the costs of a replacement. When making a complaint, written forms of communication are always useful for keeping track of responses and progress.  Try to keep receipts of any letters posted by recorded delivery or set up a calendar of dates for when you made contact with your landlord or received responses from your landlord in relation to repairs.  With written correspondence remember to provide details such as the date, your address...

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I need information on the moving process – LYNN GUIDE

Moving house is among one of the most stressful times for any person.  This section aims to highlight aspects you may wish to plan as a visually impaired individual before a move, and suggests potential sources of information.  If there are any additional aspects you feel should be covered here, please contact us with your suggestions. Click the ‘next’ button to browse the section or select the link for a specific area: Packing and Removals Bin Collections Travel and Route Training Long-cane and symbol cane mobility information Packing and Removals  One of the decisions people need to make is how much furniture they might require in a new home or what existing furniture would be suitable for the new home.  The British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/shop/donating-goods/book-a-free-furniture-collection provide a free furniture donation or furniture provision service. Often, family and friends will help out with packing up belongings and the transport of these to a new home.  However, when outside assistance is required it can be a challenge to find a reliable individual or company. It may be worthwhile contacting your local sensory centre or sensory impairment team. They might know of local volunteers who would be willing to help pack, move or unpack boxes during your home move.  Please see the list of sensory centres and sensory impairment teams in the previous section of this guide. Bin Collections Local authorities run...

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Jargon Buster

Jargon Buster Studio Flat / bedsit A flat or apartment with no separate bedroom, the bed / space for a bed is usually within the living area. Tenure The legal arrangements which give you the right to live in a house or apartment. This might be a tenancy, in which rent is paid to a landlord (who owns the property), and owner-occupancy (in which you own the property). ‘Mixed tenure’ is also possible, in which you own a share of the property and pay rent on the remaining share. Choice-based letting system Instead of offering you a particular property, many councils now run a system in which, once you have been accepted on the waiting list, you can view available properties and bid for them, usually online. Group Homes Group homes are houses which are shared by up to six adults with disabilities. Staff provide support, usually 24 hours a day. Adult placement / supported lodgings These arrangements (which are also often known as Shared Lives) match people who need support with individuals and families in the community, who can provide flexible support and accommodation in their own homes. This might be short term, longer term or just during the day. Support Tenancy Tenancy support aims to help a person with disabilities or other support needs live independently in their own rented flat or house. The support provided will...

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More training needed to support people with sight loss living in care homes

NEW research indicates that there is a need for more visual awareness training to support people with sight loss living in care homes. The research, released by sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust today, shows staff, care home residents living with sight loss and their family members have a desire for more information and support to improve residents’ quality of life. The Research Findings, Older people’s experiences of sight loss in care homes, presents the findings of an in depth qualitative study carried out in six residential care homes and one nursing home by Dr Lizzie Ward and Laura...

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New treatment to prevent blindness being trialled at St Thomas’ Hospital

A PIONEERING device which could help save people’s sight is being trialled at St Thomas’ Hospital. Surgeons at the London hospital are using a special blade, known as the Kahook dual blade (KBD), to drain fluid from the eye in patients with glaucoma, a common age-related condition which can lead to blindness and affects about half a million people in England. Glaucoma usually occurs when fluid in the eye cannot drain properly and increases pressure inside the eye, putting pressure on the optic nerve which is responsible for sight. Mr Saurabh Goyal, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at St Thomas’...

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Launch of housing brokerage for younger adults with visual impairment – evaluation and guidance

Thomas Pocklington Trust and Housing Options Scotland are launching the findings of an innovative pilot housing brokerage service for younger adults with visual impairment in Edinburgh on March 9. The event will set out how Housing Options Scotland (HOS) provided the pilot housing brokerage service, which was funded by leading sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT), across Scotland, and the evaluation of this service. Members of the housing, volunteering, and eye health and sight loss sectors are welcome to attend the event to hear about how the innovative service was run and the positive impact it had for...

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Petition to make pavement parking illegal

Guide Dogs is calling on the Government to make it illegal for people to park on pavements to protect vulnerable pedestrians from having to walk out onto the road. The charity has launched a new petition urging the Government to make pavement parking illegal, except in certain areas allowed by local councils. Cars parked on pavements pose a serious danger to people with sight loss and many other pedestrians, including wheelchair users, older people and parents with pushchairs, by forcing them out onto the road. The petition comes after MPs debated a proposal to make it an offence to...

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New book aims to change people’s perceptions of disability

A NEW book aims to help change people’s attitudes towards disability so people see ability and not disability. Mike Brace CBE DL has released his second book, ‘Don’t Ask Me, Ask the Dog!: The autobiography of Mike Brace CBE DL: Part 2’, on Amazon. The book follows the publication of Mike’s first book, ‘Where There’s a Will’, in 1980. Mike, who is visually impaired, is a founding member of Metro Blind Sport and former Paralympic Cross Country skier, among various other positions he holds. Mike said the new book covered from when he was featured as the subject on the television show...

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Group of visually impaired people hit the ski slopes

A GROUP of blind and partially sighted people hit the slopes to go skiing and sledging recently. East London Vision (ELVis), in partnership with Metro Blind Sport (Metro), took 17 blind and partially sighted people, along with volunteers and ELVis and Metro staff, to the Snozone Centre in Milton Keynes on Saturday 28 January. When they arrived at the centre, the participants kitted up in their ski jackets and bottoms ready to go sledging or skiing, before swapping to the other activity after lunch. Some of the more experienced skiers in the group had the opportunity to show off their...

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CEO Blog February

I’m pleased to report that the England Vision Strategy national conference on January 26 was a great success! The conference was sold out and we had more than 170 delegates from the Eye Health and Sight Loss sector in attendance. There were more Local Eye Health Network (LEHN) chairs in the room than are seen at other events except for their own meetings – a fantastic turn out all round! We heard some inspiring success stories, facilitated valuable discussions during our panel sessions about how things are tracking at the national and regional levels, and we reported on the...

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VISION 2020 UK launches eye health and sight loss podcast

VISION 2020 UK has launched a monthly podcast which will delve into the major issues facing the eye health and sight loss sector. The umbrella organisation, which leads collaboration in the sector, will use the new platform to explore topics through expert analysis, opinion and debate. The podcast is intended to be an educational forum for service users, carers, professionals and those with no knowledge of the topics. Hosted by John Welsman, Guide Dogs Policy Business Partner, the monthly podcasts will focus on one topic or interview per episode, highlighting the work of VISION 2020 UK Standing Committees, as well...

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England Vision Strategy Conference Brings Together Eye Health and Sight Loss Sector

The England Vision Strategy (EVS) national conference brought together organisations and people from the eye health and sight loss sector last week. More than 170 people attended the conference at BMA House on Thursday 26 January where the key issues relating to eye health and sight loss were discussed and success stories from across the sector were shared and celebrated. Expert panels with members from across the eye health and sight loss sector, including health, local authority and the third sector, discussed the national and regional perspectives, their successes from the past year and what progress was still needed....

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