Elise, who is visually impaired herself, has been a volunteer MP of the Kingston VI Parliament since it first started in September 2014. The Kingston VI Parliament sees blind and partially sighted people elected as MPs to represent the wider visually impaired community in the borough, discussing issues that affect them and helping to empower people with sight loss to influence and improve all aspects of their lives. Elise’s specialist area is Employment. Through her volunteer work with the VI Parliament, she has been helping to develop a safer and more accessible environment and create better employment opportunities and transport for Kingston’s visually impaired community.

Elise attends meetings in her own time which she feels the Parliament can benefit from and gives the Parliament her feedback at its monthly meetings. She has also worked with Kingston Council on several occasions making Kingston more VI friendly which has shown positive outcomes. Elise has played a big role in the Council’s ‘Go Cycle’ scheme – a programme designed to encourage more people to cycle and improve safety while providing better streets for everyone – which has not always been easy and has been ongoing since March 2015.

Elise was named the 2017 Thomas Pocklington Trust Inspirational Volunteer of the Year.

To find out how you can become a volunteer and help make a difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people, visit our Volunteer Opportunities page.