The Tyne and Wear Council held its launch event on Friday 29th March 2019. The launch was attended by a range of stakeholders from the local area including other sight loss organisations, social care representatives and potential volunteers. The council is open to applications from volunteers now. If you live locally and are interested in becoming a Sight Loss Council member, you can find out more about the role.

Meet the Staff

Noel Hemmings

Image of Noel, Engagement Manager for NE

Noel was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa when he was 11 years old. Like many, he was in denial and continued with his plan to become an engineer. He received very little support in school but went to college to study structural engineering, then on to gain employment with a commercial roofing company, all whilst keeping his sight loss a secret! Eventually his sight deteriorated to the point where he could not hide it any longer. Noel then went on to establish his own construction business which he ran until 2002 when he finally came to terms with his sight loss and sought an alternative career.

Noel was fortunate, in that the support from his local sensory loss team was excellent, he received rehab and mobility training, was referred to Guide Dogs (which resulted in him getting his beloved Hooch) and was also given access to computers with specialist software on which he trained himself. In 2003, Noel started attending a local sight loss society and became Chair. Since then, he has worked in the sector at Action for Blind People and RNIB before beginning his current role in 2018 as Engagement Manager for the Thomas Pocklington Trust, covering the North East of England. 

Interested in becoming a Tyne & Wear Sight Loss Council member?

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