Yesterday the Government implemented cuts to the Employment and Support Allowance which will see new claimants placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) go without the work-related activity component of £29 per week. This puts these individuals £1,500 worse off a year compared to existing claimants.

I am strongly opposed to these significant cuts and believe that it is vital that financial support is available for blind and partially sighted people. As a charity we have responded to these latest cuts and you can read our response here.

On a more positive note, it was a pleasure to welcome Lord Chris Holmes to the Pocklington Hub on 17th March  to officially open the  meeting room named in his honour. The name was chosen as a result of a staff vote, something that Chris  was proud to learn. The staff decided to name the meeting rooms after inspirational and famous people with sight loss and it is clear to see why Chris  was chosen!  My thanks go to Lord Holmes for taking time out of his busy schedule to attend the event and for spending time with staff over lunch.

We have four other meeting rooms so we will no doubt be hosting more of these events in the near future!

On to an upcoming event, this month we have our staff conference on April 26th. I always look forward to these events as they are a great opportunity to spend time with people that I don’t often get to see – it’s quite fitting really that the theme for this conference is engagement. I don’t want to ruin any surprises but I hear there will be some exciting launches during the course of the day so I will update you on them next time!

The London Marathon is also taking place this month, and whilst this year I will be enjoying watching from the comfort of my living room, our Head of Finance Projects, Louise Fairhurst will be taking on the challenge. She will be running for East London Vision (ELVis), an important  part of the Pocklington Family, and we wish her a fantastic run – I am confident that she will beat my times from 2009 and 2010! If you would like to sponsor Louise and to support the valuable work of ELVis please use the link below;

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LouiseFairhurst