Thursday, 23 May 2024
Thursday, 23 May 2024

Blind and partially sighted people join forces to influence positive change

BLIND and partially sighted people are coming together in regions across England to work with businesses and service providers to improve the accessibility of their services. They are also looking for other blind and partially sighted people to join them.

SLCs, funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust, are led by blind and partially sighted volunteers who use their lived experience to create positive change.

There are currently over 15 Sight Loss Councils operating in different regions across England. This is set to expand over the coming years.

In the South of England, West Sussex Sight Loss Council (SLC) is due to launch in February 2023 and South West London SLC in March 2023. There is also a new SLC launching in North Yorkshire early this year.

Existing Sight Loss Councils in Bedfordshire, Essex, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Worcestershire, York and West Yorkshire are also recruiting.

To support this growth and encourage others to volunteer, existing Sight Loss Council members have created a series of short films about what being a member involves and why other blind and partially sighted people should join them.

This includes using their lived experience to create positive change for others, increasing accessibility, building confidence, learning new skills, meeting like-minded people, having a voice, feeling valued, attending with other members at a national member conference, and more.

Blind and partially sighted people join forces to influence positive change
Mariza Jurgens.

Mariza Jurgens, London Sight Loss Council, said:

“My experience as a Sight Loss Council member was one of the greatest honours of my life.”

Blind and partially sighted people join forces to influence positive change
Paul Hopkins.

Paul Hopkins, Birmingham Sight Loss Council, said:

“Never think you don’t have anything to offer because just living your life every day as a visually impaired person means you are going to have picked up some life hacks. You’ll have experiences that will really benefit someone else somewhere along the line.”

Iain Mitchell, Senior Engagement Manager, added:

“Sight Loss Councils are made up of individuals with lived experience of sight loss. They come together to work with businesses and service providers to raise awareness, provide invaluable insight, and make positive changes within their communities.

“Projects are led by SLC members who will speak with the wider sight loss community to find out what really matters to them. This could include access to transport, and health providers, making our streets and communities accessible, and more.

“We have places available to join our new Sight Loss Councils. I would encourage any blind or partially sighted people in the region to get in touch to find out more, and to help spread the word about Sight Loss Councils across their community.”

Join Sight Loss Councils to help ensure visually impaired people in your area can live the lives they want to lead.

For more information, please visit: www.sightlosscouncils.org.uk/join-us.

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