Birmingham and Black Country

Welcome to Birmingham and Black Country Sight Loss Council (SLC). We are proud of our work across the region to make services more accessible and inclusive. This includes:

  • producing a training video with Birmingham NHS Community Trust. This will form a mandatory part of training to 5000+ staff, working at Birmingham community healthcare NHS trust.
  • creating an ‘Accessibility Matters’ video with Transport for West Midlands, to increase awareness on how to best assist blind and partially sighted passengers.
  • working with event organisers to ensure the accessibility of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
  • providing vision awareness sessions to staff ahead of the 2023 IBSA World Games, and support wayfinding solutions for the games.
  • working with Transport for West Midlands on Wayfinding solutions across the network, including trials of the NaviLens, Goodmaps, and Waymap apps. 

Formally two separate SLCs, we joined forces in the summer of 2023. This is because we were both an integral part of the West Midlands Combined Authority region. Therefore, we found ourselves working together on key projects across a variety of sectors. after working together on a number of projects. As a result, our members were keen to join forces as they felt it would enable a more streamlined approach to our work.

By merging to create Birmingham and Black Country Sight Loss Council, we can now look at expanding across the West Midlands even further.

Meet the members

Paul Hopkins, Birmingham & Black Country SLC member, pictured with Louise Connop, Senior Engagement Manager for Central England“Birmingham and the Black Country is the largest and most populated area outside London.

“Birmingham was the first Sight Loss Council to launch, and both Birmingham and Black Country SLCs have grown side by side for a number of years. There have been frequent collaborations between the two SLCs around the key aims of SLCs.

“Bringing friendly neighbours together as one family made perfect sense and it was unanimously agreed amongst B&BC volunteers that this would be a positive development.

“We have the best of everything now that we are working as one. Whilst there are many differences between the two areas, there is common ground.

“We now co-ordinate our workflow together at our monthly meetings and you can feel the positivity as we realise, we are more empowered as one large, dynamic group.

“We have plenty of lived experience in all areas of equality, diversity, and inclusion. We’re primed and ready to continue our positive impact in this vibrant area of the UK in which we serve as SLC Members.”

Paul Hopkins, Birmingham & Black Country Sight Loss Council

Why should I volunteer?

If you want to make a real difference in your local area on the issues that affect blind and partially sighted people, joining our Sight loss Council could be the perfect volunteering opportunity for you.

Join us

You will work with policy makers and local service providers to improve access for blind and partially sighted people in your local community. It is also a great opportunity to come together with other blind and partially sighted people in your area.

“Working for Sight Loss Councils has given me lots of opportunities to raise awareness and make friends. It has highlighted the individual differences that blind and partially sighted people face in the community, and how we can come together to share knowledge and build confidence in one another.”

Taz, Birmingham & Black Country Sight Loss Council

“Being a Sight Loss Council member has given me a new lease of life in helping to make things better and easier for all VI communities. I have also met some fantastic people along the way!”

Carl, Birmingham & Black Country Sight Loss Council

This is your chance to develop your skills and influence positive change.

Hear from our volunteers about why you should join us

Training and development 

It’s really important to us that you get as much as possible out of volunteering. You’ll receive relevant training and the opportunity to learn and/or enhance your skills. Whether you’re interested in public speaking or honing your social media skills, there’s something for everyone to get involved in.

Stay in the know

If you want to stay up to date with news from the Sight Loss Councils, sign up to our mailing list.

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