“Volunteering as a student at the Sight Loss Council Conference was a hugely rewarding experience.”

Niamh Cruickshank, a first-year BSc Psychology and Counselling student at Birmingham City University, volunteered at the Sight Loss Council conference in October 2021. She shares how she got involved and her experience of volunteering as a student.

Niamh moved to Birmingham in 2021 and was keen to learn about volunteering opportunities available to her to gain further work experience.

Niamh Cruickshank

Signposted to the university volunteering platform, Niamh found the role she felt would suit her. Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) was advertising sighted guide opportunities to support blind and partially sighted people at the very first national Sight Loss Council Conference.

Niamh said: “The event sounded an ideal way for me to meet new people and develop my skills, working with others.

I had previously volunteered as a sighted guide for other organisations. Also, I have had work experience at local charities, so I felt comfortable signing up.”

Niamh completed the online training a few days before the event, in areas such as health & safety and safeguarding. She then had sighted guide training the day before the conference.

Niamh said that she would definitely encourage other students to volunteer at the next conference. It helped to build her confidence and gave her the opportunity to speak to a variety of people from diverse backgrounds.

TPT is holding the annual Sight Loss Council Conference later in 2022. Niamh said: “I would definitely encourage students to volunteer at events like these. It provides a fantastic opportunity to meet other people, offers work experience and is good for your CV.”

Learn more about opportunities like this, and how you can get involved with the 2022 Sight Loss Council Conference by contacting volunteering@pocklington-trust.org.uk

Visit the Sight Loss Council website here.

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