Tyne and Wear SLC celebrates third birthday

Tyne and Wear Sight Loss Council (SLC) is celebrating its third birthday and its work to create change for blind and partially sighted (BPS) people across the region.

Thomas Pocklington Trust appointed Jack Moffat as Engagement Manager for North East England in August 2024. Jack, previously an SLC volunteer, is registered severely sight impaired.

Like our other SLCs, members will work locally to address the accessibility of transport and street safety, using the power of lived experience.

Since his start, Jack has been busy establishing key relationships and working with stakeholders across the county. This includes working in partnership with RNIB to produce a street charter for Newcastle city centre, work with Newcastle City Council to increase the accessibility of leisure centres, and initial conversations with local transport provider, Nexus.

He said:

A headshot of Jack Moffat, Engagement Manager for the North East. Jack has dark hair and a beard. He is looking at the camera, smiling.“I am delighted to celebrate Tyne and Wear Sight Loss Council’s third birthday and our achievements to date.

“We have made huge strides across the county to increase accessibility since our launch in 2021. A great example of this is our work with local universities to deliver vision awareness sessions to student nurses across various pathways. This has been a huge success.

“One of our new projects for 2024 is to make sports and leisure more accessible for people with sight loss and we are looking forward to starting this project.

“We have a very enthusiastic group of volunteers who want to educate the public on what it is to be blind or partially sighted. Each of us is excited to see what we achieve in 2024 and beyond.”

Hazel Dixon, Tyne and Wear SLC member, pictured with Jack Moffat, Engagement Manager for North West England, during their recent SLC meeting.

Hazel Dixon, SLC member, pictured with Jack at a recent SLC meeting

What our volunteers say

Chris Ashburn, recently joined Tyne and Wear SLC. He said:

“As a qualified vision impaired cricket coach, I am very excited to see what we can achieve with local sports teams and gyms. My passion is to make sports accessible for all.”

Lando Van-Hilton, Tyne and Wear SLC member, added:

“I am very keen to work on making transport and the built environment accessible. These are things that greatly affect my everyday life. It would be great to support other blind and partially sighted people across the region by making improvements in these areas.”

Durham VI Cricket team coaches and players. From left to right: Chris Ashburn, Darren Cook, Emma Gilfoyle, and Jack Moffat.

Tyne and Wear SLC members Chris Ashburn and Darren Cook, with Emma Gilfoyle and Jack Moffat, Engagement Manager for the North East. They are pictured during North Yorkshire SLC’s ‘Let’s get active’ event last November.

Join Tyne and Wear Sight Loss Council

Tyne and Wear Sight Loss Council is recruiting new members who live in the local area.

If you are blind and partially sighted and want to improve services for visually impaired people, we want to hear from you.

You’ll get the opportunity to create positive change for others, meet like-minded people, have a voice, receive training and enhance your skills. If you’re interested in public speaking or honing your social media skills, there’s something for you to get involved in.

Join us

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.

If you would like to collaborate with Tyne and Wear Sight Loss Council on a project, please get in touch.

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Publication date: 29 January 2024

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