Category: Case Studies

Volunteering gave me my life back!

Laura Kennedy lost her sight overnight at the age of 31. It was a devastating diagnosis.   She had developed the rare condition of Acute Retina Necrosis following a virus. Her full sight would never return. A self-confessed workaholic, Laura worked as a PA to two directors in the NHS but as she lay in the hospital bed for five weeks and twenty operations/procedures later she just couldn’t imagine how it would be possible to continue with her career. Like many young people who become blind and partially sighted, she had to leave her dockside apartment because of the...

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Our Right to Study – Holly’s story

Holly is a final year student studying Spanish at Coventry University. This is Holly’s personal account of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). Her experience emphasises what the government should do to ensure that students with vision impairments have fair access to university.  When applying for university, I knew that as a blind student I would face challenges that others wouldn’t have to consider. Would I be able to access the books in the library? What technology would I need? How would I handle orientation and mobility on campus? These were questions I had to ask myself and find solutions to...

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Changing Lives – Fadeia Hossian

Fadeia Hossian completely lost her sight partway through her legal training. Here, she tells the story of how she persevered through adversity to gain a training contract at a major law firm.

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Changing Lives – Kevin’s Story

Kevin Smith likens being blind to having “your head in a box”.
“If someone walks by, you don’t know who it is, if a mate comes up to you and you don’t recognise their voice, you have to stop and think – you are very, very isolated,” he says.

Kevin has been through his share of ups and downs since he lost his sight six years ago, but he attributes most of the positives to the work of Thomas Pocklington Trust. “When I met them, I wasn’t in a good place, I was shouting at the world, and they let me shout,” he says. “They just listened and then they started rebuilding me.”

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Keith’s Story

Keith Valentine is the Deputy CEO at the Thomas Pocklington Trust, holding special responsibility for stimulating and supporting choice and independence for blind and partially sighted people in the community.
Having worked for many years leading urban renewal programmes Keith has directed his energies to the sight loss sector as his own loss of sight progressed, affording him a unique perspective on the needs and aspirations of the people who are served by Pocklington’s work.

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