Three Sight Loss Councils launch this spring
We are delighted to welcome three new Sight Loss Councils to our growing network this spring.
Sight Loss Councils, funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust, are led by blind and partially sighted (BPS) members. We use our lived experience to create an equal world for people living with sight loss. To do this, we work with businesses and services locally and nationally to make sure what they do is accessible and inclusive.
North Yorkshire Sight Loss Council
North Yorkshire SLC launched on Monday 20 March in Scarborough.
At the meeting, blind and partially sighted members had the opportunity to discuss wider SLC national, regional, and local projects. These include transport, safe streets, health, arts and culture, sport and leisure, and retail.
Members were excited to discuss how they can work together to make a difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people living in North Yorkshire. Key topics included accessible transport, and sports and leisure.
North Yorkshire SLC. From left to right: Tony Mollica, Iain Mitchell, Senior Engagement Manager for North England, Belle Whitely, SLC coordinator for Yorkshire and Humberside, and Matthew Jones. SLC members Jackie Jones and Lesley Robinson have joined via Zoom.
Matthew Jones said about why he joined North Yorkshire SLC:
“It is a chance to make a difference.”
Tony Mollica, another new North Yorkshire SLC member, added:
“I am looking forward to being able to interact with other visually impaired people and to understand the challenges we face together.”
Iain Mitchell, Senior Engagement Manager, North England, said:
“North Yorkshire is our third Sight Loss Council in the Yorkshire & Humberside region. We have some amazing volunteers who have joined us who are keen to get active in improving the lives of blind and partially sighted people.
“We are eager to recruit more volunteers because the greater the number, the more reach we have. This will result in more achievements in making life easier for visually impaired residents and visitors in North Yorkshire.”
West Sussex Sight Loss Council
West Sussex SLC launched on Monday, 20 March 2023, at Sight Support Worthing.
During their first meeting, members discussed a range of issues they want to tackle. These will link to Sight Loss Councils’ national projects as well as focussing on more localised work. Areas of work will include improvements to the local buses, working with local authorities on street design, improving access to sport and leisure, and much more.
West Sussex SLC. From left to right: Maria Dowswell, James Langley, Dave Smith, Engagement manager for South East England, Clinton Corin, and Richard Deadman.
Maria Dowswell, West Sussex SLC member, said:
“It is great to be involved in something that raises awareness of visual impairment as a group. I’ve always wanted to do this but never known how to go about it.”
David Smith, Engagement Manager for the South East, said:
“I’m really pleased that our second Sight Loss Council has launched, and we can start working on making a positive change in a new area.
“Having a SLC in West Sussex will enable us to work closely with East Sussex SLC and jointly on cross county projects and initiatives. Two local sight loss charities, Sight Support Worthing and 4 Sight Vision Support, fully support the work that we’ll be doing in the county and are keen to work with us wherever possible.”
South West London Sight Loss Council
South West London SLC launched on Tuesday 29 March at Sutton Vision.
After introductions were made over cake, new members got straight to work. They discussed their planned projects and priority areas in South West London. Work will focus on transport, street safety, and retail. Members had an interesting discussion around disability awareness of retail staff, and the rise of e-vehicle usage and legislation.
South West London SLC members. Top row, from left to right: Harry Meade, Haren Thillainathan and Vicky Blencowe. Bottom row, from left to right: Jennifer Smith, Nikki Hughes and Mary Cox
Nikki Hughes, South West London SLC member, said:
“I am really excited to be a SLC member, and my brain is ticking over already with ideas. I’m hoping we can make a real impact with our projects.”
Harry Meade, South West London SLC member, added:
“Having had the inaugural South West London Sight Loss Council meeting, my hopes are that we can start to make a real difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people living in our community – and that we can have some fun doing so.”
Lucy Williams, Senior Engagement Manager, South England, said:
“What an encouraging and animated launch.
“Our South West London Sight Loss Council got off to a great start, with members getting to know each other before discussing our upcoming work.
“We are very excited to start working with councils and service providers to improve accessibility for blind and partially sighted people across the region.
“We have six founding members and are still recruiting. If you have lived experience of sight loss, get in touch to learn more.”
Are you passionate about making a difference? Do you want to influence positive change? Our Sight Loss Councils, led by blind and partially sighted volunteers, are recruiting new members. Join us today.
We use our lived experience to create positive change for others. Together, we tackle local issues and work with businesses and service providers to improve the accessibility of their services.
Join us to help ensure visually impaired people in your area can live the lives they want to lead.
Training and development
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.
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Publication date: 03 April 2023