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 negative, despite participants eventually receiving a ‘positive’ financial outcome. The process for participants was hindered by accessibility issues, confusing forms and troublesome face-to-face assessment experiences.

Even since this work was completed, new issues have emerged that further highlight that the process doesn’t function properly.

TPT champions the needs of people with sight loss and for us, commissioning research like this is one way we are able to enable change. We hope to influence the Government to make the PIP process an accessible and fair process for people with sight loss and hope that people will support our recommendations so we can achieve this.

On another note, we have an exciting event coming up later this month to officially open one of our meeting rooms at the Pocklington Hub. The rooms have been aptly named after well-known visually impaired people, including one named after Lord Chris Holmes, Baron of Richmond, MBE. We are pleased that Lord Holmes, a champion Paralympic swimmer, will be officially opening the meeting room named in his honour at the Hub on Friday 17 March. It is fantastic that Lord Holmes is able to attend and we look forward to welcoming him.

We have also named one of our rooms after award-winning musician Stevie Wonder. If anyone has his number please do pass it onto us so we can invite him to open the room!

You can find the PIP research reports here.


Peter Corbett

Chief Executive