Introducing Tyne and Wear Sight Loss Council

Today, we are launching a Sight Loss Council (SLC) in Tyne and Wear, which will advocate the needs of blind and partially sighted people and effect positive change in the region.


SLC members, who are all blind or partially sighted, will campaign on a range of issues including access to health care, e-scooter safety and challenges raised by the Covid-19 crisis.


The new Tyne and Wear SLC, funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust, will join a network of Sight Loss Councils across the country to work closely with businesses, charities, transport hubs, local politicians and other service providers to improve access to services for visually impaired residents.


Eamonn Dunne, Engagement Manager for Tyne and Wear SLC said: “Sight Loss Councils provide an opportunity for members to harness their ideas and experiences to make meaningful change. I am looking forward to working with our members to campaign for better and more accessible products and services in our community.”


The council still has places available for any Tyne and Wear residents with a visual impairment interested in getting involved.


Eamonn adds: “By joining the council, you will gain new social opportunities and valuable skills and experience. It is a fantastic opportunity for visually impaired people to learn how to advocate for themselves and others, become more confident in public speaking, help organise events and more.”


The first Tyne and Wear SLC meeting takes place this week, where members will decide on the local issues they wish to focus within the six SLC priority areas of education, Sport and Leisure, Health and Social Care, Transport, technology and employment.


Rachel Wilkinson, Head of Engagement and Volunteering at Thomas Pocklington Trust said: “Since 2016, it has been wonderful to see our Sight Loss Councils grow from one council in Birmingham to eight councils launched throughout the country – and more to be added to the network soon! The councils have tackled a range of issues from guide dog refusals to sport and leisure centre access and are making a positive difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people.


“I urge any residents with a visual impairment to join us and become a member.”


You can learn more about becoming an SLC member by visiting our Join us page or getting in touch with our volunteering team.

Publication date: 29 January 2021

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