Listening Month: What matters to you?
Sight Loss Councils (SLCs) have prioritised street accessibility and public transport as their priority national projects for 2023-24, in response to findings in the new Listening Month report.
Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Listening Month report brings together evidence about the concerns of blind and partially sighted people. Together, we captured this evidence as part of our nationwide Listening Month 2022 campaign.
SLCs are also running an additional local project which responds to the individual needs of their area. These are focused on health, arts and culture, sports and leisure, or retail.
Our theme for Listening Month in 2022 was: What matters to you? We wanted this to be an open opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to have their say on all issues that are important to them.
Listening Month was also an opportunity for Sight Loss Councils and Thomas Pocklington Trust to talk about our work with blind and partially sighted people and how we can help to tackle the issues highlighted throughout this engagement.
The centrepiece of Listening Month was our national survey which we are inviting blind and partially sighted people to complete.
The report highlights the key challenges faced by blind and partially sighted individuals. These include:
- accessibility of the street environment
- public transport
- awareness of visual impairment
- employment and benefits
- personal confidence and social isolation
- accessibility of retail and other services
- accessibility of technology
- health and care
- education and learning.
The survey and feedback from other events and activities in our report has informed our campaigns and work in the coming year.
We are also sharing your feedback with other organisations, and government and partners to inform their own work.
Sight Loss Councils
Sight Loss Councils also ran a range of activities and events as part of Listening Month to gather this data. These events asked and listened to the views of blind and partially sighted people across the country.
In this short video, our Bristol Sight Loss Council member Emma explained why people should get involved.
Image shows blind and partially sighted people sitting at tables, discussing key topics related to sight loss at a volunteer event.
Key highlights of activity included:
- Sight Loss Councils from across the country attended national online forums run by Thomas Pocklington Trust to feed information into this research on a regional and national level.
- Sight Loss Councils promoted our national survey and worked with sight loss charities and groups in their region to listen to the views of blind and partially sighted residents. This includes but was not limited to East Sussex, Northumberland, London, and Tyne and Wear.
- Sight Loss Councils ran a social media campaign and created short videos to promote Listening Month, using our hashtag #ListeningMonth2022 on social media.
- Merseyside Sight Loss Council ran a series of five drop-in events for local residents.
- Bristol and Gloucestershire Sight Loss Councils ran a joint forum on 30 November 2022 to listen to people’s views.
- Essex Sight Loss Council held a forum on 25 November 2022.
- West Midlands Sight Loss Councils planned a joint forum for local residents, alongside promoting our survey.
- West Yorkshire and York held a joint forum on 24 November.
- London Sight Loss Council attended South-East Sight Village on 8 November, alongside regional networks and events.
Young people and students
We also held focus groups with young people and students, through Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Student Voices and Young Voices. Find out more on these events and survey on Thomas Pocklington Trust’s website.
Round table discussions with MPs
Thomas Pocklington Trust will be hosting round table events with key MPs and volunteers to discuss the major issues facing blind and partially sighted people.
These will include Marsha De Cordova MP (Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eye Health and Visual Impairment) on 22 November.
Visit Thomas Pocklington Trust’s website for more information.