Barclays attend vision awareness session

Barclays attended a vision awareness session ran by Greater Manchester Sight Loss Council (SLC) last week.

Greater Manchester SLC delivered the session to staff from the Specialist Customer Care team. They were joined by Kelly Barton, Engagement Manager, North West, and Jen Sweeney, Corporate Engagement Manager, Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT).

The session, held on 13 April 2023, aimed to raise awareness of sight loss and how staff can their support blind and partially sighted (BPS) customers.

Attendees began by learning about sight loss, before trying on simulation specs. These glasses simulate some of various sight loss conditions many BPS people have. They give the wearer a unique insight into how the world looks when you have a visual impairment.

Staff then learned sighted guiding techniques before having a group discussion about the systems currently in place. The team were really engaged, discussing what changes could be made to make the customer experience more accessible.


Jen Sweeny, Corporate Engagement Manager for Thomas Pocklington Trust, talking to a member of the Barclays team who is wearing sim specs during sighted guide training.

From left to right: Aalish Atkinson, Barclays, and Jen Sweeney, Corporate Engagement Manager, TPT. Aalish is wearing sim specs as part of the sighted guide training


Feedback from the session

Jen Sweeney, Corporate Engagement Manager at Thomas Pocklington Trust, said:

“It was great to work with the Vulnerable Customer Team at Barclays, and to join Greater Manchester Sight Loss Council to deliver vision awareness guidance this morning in Manchester.

“We’re very much looking forward to building our relationship with Barclays and extending the offer of Barclays Life Skills training to Greater Manchester Sight Loss Council.”


Anneliese Jones, Engagement and Communications Specialist, Barclays’ Customer Care team, said:

“Thank you so much for delivering the vision awareness session. It was interactive and informative and has given me more confidence to discuss visual impairment with colleagues and customers.

“I really enjoyed the session with the sim-specs. It really opened my mind as to what it would be like to live with a visual impairment.”

Kelly Barton, Engagement Manager for North West England, added:

“Greater Manchester SLC was pleased to work with Barclays. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness over the challenges blind and partially sighted people face when accessing banking services.”


Two members from Barclays during the sighted guide training. One is wearing sim specs, whilst being guided by the other.

From left to right: Anneliese and Dennis from Barclays, pictured during the sighted guide training

About Sight Loss Councils

Sight Loss Councils are led by blind and partially sighted members and funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust. We advocate the needs of visually impaired people in our communities and work to improve access to goods and services at a local and national level.

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Publication date: 21 April 2023

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