Tag Archives: Thomas Pocklington Trust

New toolkit to help gyms make sport accessible!

photo banner of accessible signs and a person being guided in a gym - text says Free training portal open to all leisure providers

FREE training portal open to all leisure providers!

UK Coaching urges gyms and sports providers to make their facilities more accessible to visually impaired people and has just launched free training to show them how to do just that.

The new toolkit, Inclusive facilities: Supporting people with a visual impairment, created in partnership with Thomas Pocklington Trust, contains videos and resources leisure operators can use to train staff.

Kelly Rodrigues from UK Coaching said: “Small adjustments can make a huge difference for people with a visual impairment to access leisure facilities and sports and become more active. These can be as simple as a member of staff approaching a visually impaired person and introducing themselves.

“We are asking leisure operators to encourage all their staff – from the front desk to their personal trainers – to get engaged with this training programme and make sport accessible in their venues.”

Martin Symcox, Sports Development Lead at Thomas Pocklington Trust, said: “One of the greatest barriers to blind and partially sighted people participating in sport is confidence and we know disabled people are twice as likely to be inactive*, compared to non-disabled people.

“Knowing that a leisure or sport provider understands their needs, helps increase confidence and makes visually impaired people more likely to choose that place to do exercise.”

The toolkit is a free resource open to all leisure providers and contains:

  • What is a visual impairment?
  • What makes an accessible environment?
  • Guiding and communicating
  • The benefits of an accessible environment

Better Energise Leisure Centre in York has worked with visually impaired people and trained its team in how to make its facilities more inclusive.

Kelly, Energise Gym Instructor, said: “Prior to having the training, a visually impaired person coming into the centre, I probably would have been a little bit nervous about asking how they wanted to be supported.  Fitness should be inclusive. We should be welcoming everybody, regardless of their ability.”

Sidney Tambin is severely sight impaired and regularly visits the gym, said: “If a venue is accessible it can really boost a visually impaired person’s self confidence.”

Martin added: “The changes to the environment and procedures are often simple and inexpensive to implement and could actually be of financial benefit as more visually impaired people choose that facility to spend their money.  We will be looking for examples of good practice across the country and will be sharing these with the sight loss community.  So, we urge operators to take a look at the toolkit and train their teams.”



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New Sight Loss Council Launched for London!

New Sight Loss Council Launched for London all Members are visually impaired!


London now has a Sight Loss Council to advocate the needs of blind and partially sighted people and influence positive change in the capital.

The announcement comes after the successful appointment of 14 members, all of whom are visually impaired themselves.

Facilitated by London Vision with funding from Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) and the Vision Foundation, it forms part of the national network of Sight Loss Councils established by TPT.

Cathy Low, CEO of London Vision, said: “The formation of a London Sight Loss Council has generated a lot of interest from applicants across the capital. Sight Loss Councils promote engagement and self-advocacy and can effect real change – as demonstrated already with Sight Loss Councils’ work across the country.

“The 14 members come from a range of locations and backgrounds across the capital.  London is an incredibly diverse city and this diversity is reflected in our members to ensure a variety of views and experiences is represented.”

Members of the new London Sight Loss Council are:

  • Charmaine Ashpole
  • Davinder Kullar
  • Heran Thillainathan
  • Jonathon Arbo
  • Jurgen Donaldson
  • Lucy Williams
  • Mariza Jurgens
  • Martia Bevan
  • Rachel Bowden Waterson
  • Renu Walia
  • Selina Mills
  • Steven Rattray
  • Steve Reed
  • Vicky Blencowe

One of the new members of the council, Jurgen Donaldson, said: “Sight Loss Councils have been supporting the visually impaired community across the UK since 2016. I am excited to be part of launching this new London Sight Loss Council and to be part of improving the day-to-day lives of people in our community across this great city”.

The first LSLC meeting will take place virtually in January 2021 where members will establish key priority areas for focus, using their knowledge and lived experience.

Cathy added: “The London Sight Loss Council will complement the network of local sight loss organisations and strive to collaborate and form partnerships across the capital.”

For further information or images please contact: Rosalind Duignan-Pearson, London Vision, rosalind.duignan-pearson@londonvision.org  0203 761 3651 or 07974 578 637.

About Sight Loss Councils

London Sight Loss Council, led by blind and partially sighted volunteers, advocates the needs of blind and partially sighted people and influences positive change in the capital.

Facilitated by London Vision with funding from Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) and Vision Foundation, it forms part of the national network of Sight Loss Councils (SLC) established by TPT.

SLCs are currently operating in Birmingham, Black Country, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Tyne & Wear and Bedfordshire. Each SLC is made up of around 10-12 blind and partially sighted members who meet monthly to discuss accessibility issues and plan projects in their regions under the six priority themes of education, employment, technology, health and social care, transport, sport and leisure. Over the next year Thomas Pocklington Trust will be extending its SLCs across the country. www.sightlosscouncils.org.uk


 About London Vision

Our vision is a society and capital city where blind and partially sighted people can participate fully.

Our mission is to make London more equal and inclusive so that people who are blind and partially sighted can advantage of all that the UK’s capital city has to offer.


Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


About the Vision Foundation

The Vision Foundation transforms the lives of people facing or living with sight loss by funding projects that inform, empower and include.

Being blind or partially sighted shouldn’t mean you’re left out, isolated or held back. But too many people are. That’s why we amplify the voices of blind and partially sighted people, and inspire others to advocate and take action.

Our mission is to make London a shining example of a sight loss aware city.




Christmas Student Social – 19 Dec!

Christmas Student  Social - 19 December  - 1 pm - 2.30 pm

Christmas Student  Social – 19 December  – 1 pm- 2.30 pm

Who is ready for some Christmas fun? 

Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Student Support Service is hosting its very first Christmas social event and you don’t want to miss it!

Meet new people and challenge yourself with our festive quiz, before showing off your creativity, skills and interests in our ‘Show your talent’ feature, celebrating through song, dance, magic, poetry, art – any talent you would like to share with us!

The event will be held on Saturday 19th December 1 pm – 2.30 pm.

This event is open to all students over 16 years, and recent graduates.


To book a place for the quiz or to show your talent, email


Prizes will be available for the winning quiz team, so make sure you are there.




TPT Launches New Coaching Offer!

Facing Redundancy? TPT Launches New Coaching Offer

New professional coaching service for blind and partially sighted people

Original Post by pocklington-trust.org.uk

Blind and partially sighted people who are facing redundancy or have been made redundant can get support through a new professional coaching service launched by Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) and the Centre for Resolution.

Martin Sigsworth, Senior Employment Manager at TPT, said: “Citizens Advice research has revealed disabled people are at least twice as likely to face redundancy*.  And the hard truth is that right now securing a job is likely to be even harder for blind and partially sighted people due to increased competition for fewer roles.”

View professional Coaching page on the Thomas Pocklington trusts page

The new professional coaching service, delivered by the Centre for Resolution, an established mediation and coaching company, will help people who have been made redundant work through what steps they need to take to secure their next role.

If you think coaching will help you to make a plan for your next career goals or want to figure out what those goals are, send an email to   employment@pocklington-trust.org.uk  and they can arrange an initial call to see if coaching is right for you.

Ryan Compton, Director of the Centre for Resolution, said: “As a visually impaired person myself, I know the challenges blind and partially sighted people face both securing employment and progressing in their careers.  So, we are delighted to partner with TPT to provide this service specifically to visually impaired people.

“TPT is funding the service so it is free for blind and partially sighted people who need it.  Our coaches will help them identify career goals, develop a strategy with action steps to reach those goals, and provide accountability to achieve them. The career coach will use proven listening and querying techniques to support them as they find their own answers to problems they are facing.”

Martin added: “We know that assistive technology allows blind and partially sighted people to perform roles in the workplace as well as their fully sighted colleagues. But many employers as still oblivious to this and ‘won’t take the chance’ with blind and partially sighted candidates.  The new coaching service aims to try to level the playing field, to give people confidence and help them to find direction.”

The Centre for Resolution

The Centre for Resolution provides a range of services to individuals, families and organisations including civil, workplace, disability and family mediation, mediation skills and disability awareness training.

The aim of Centre for Resolution is to increase effective communication between colleagues and employers, family members and ex-partners, service providers and service users.  It is a Disabled Confident employer and proud member of the College of Mediators.




Thomas Pocklington Trust calls for Two New Trustees!

Thomas Pocklington Trust is recruiting Two New Trustees!

A message from Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Chair of Trustees!

Our board of trustees provides governance and leadership. We work as a team to look after everything the charity does including its finances. TPT is looking to recruit two new trustees with experience in specific areas.

Becoming a trustee, whether for TPT or another charity, is a great way to share your skills, experience and time with an organisation that is making a real difference to people’s lives. It’s also an opportunity to develop your leadership skills and create new connections.

Mervyn Williamson

Thomas Pocklington Trust calls for Two New Trustees!

TPT is looking to recruit two exceptional people to join our current trustee board of eight members in giving strategic direction to this important work. Ideally, we’re looking for people with experience in some of the following areas:

  • Property and estate management
  • Finance and accounting
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Human resources
  • Technology (including assistive technology and social media)

Learn more about becoming a trustee with TPT

To apply, please email the most recent version of your CV to deborah.brown@pocklington-trust.org.uk.  The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 4 December.

 In this video Mervyn Williamson, Chairman of Thomas Pocklington Trust outlines the charity’s mission, purpose and strategy.


  • Our mission is to support blind and partially sighted people of all ages to live the life they want to lead.
  • Our values define everything we do:
  • Making a difference: The lives of blind and partially sighted people are better because of what we do.
  • Working in partnership: We work collaboratively together and with all our partners and stakeholders.
  • Respect: We treat people the way we would like to be treated.
  • Quality: We set clear goals and high standards and work efficiently and effectively to achieve them.
  • Participation: We place the participation of blind and partially sighted people at the heart of everything we do.