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Inaugural Sight Loss Council event to be held in Scotland


They play a crucial role in empowering blind and partially sighted people

Sight Loss Councils (SLC) Scotland is set to hold its inaugural launch event at Summerhall in Edinburgh on Thursday, 25 April.

Sight Loss Councils, which meet on a monthly basis, play a crucial role in empowering blind and partially sighted people, advocating for their rights, and promoting a more inclusive and accessible society in Scotland.

Each SLC is made up of a small group of blind and partially sighted volunteers who use their own lived experience to tackle local and national issues and promote accessibility, inclusion and equality.

​The upcoming inaugural ‘taster’ event in Edinburgh will serve as an introduction to the Sight Loss Councils in Scotland.

Organisers are inviting anyone interested to come along and discover more about what they do and how the SLCs will work in Scotland.

Whether you're a member of the visually impaired community, a passionate advocate, or simply curious about how you can make a difference, this event welcomes all. Moreover, the event presents a platform for collaboration, as SLCs are actively seeking businesses interested in partnering to promote accessibility and equality.

​Sight Loss Councils are delivered in Scotland by Sight Scotland, Sight Scotland Veterans and Visibility Scotland and funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust.

​Ellen Docherty, who has macular degeneration and Stargardt's disease, who is one of the first Sight Loss Council volunteers in Scotland, says she is delighted to be part of the Sight Loss Councils and hope's they can increase awareness and ignite tangible change for the blind and partially sighted community across the country.

She said: "It is so important that we are using real lived experience to raise awareness and ultimately make change. The Sight Loss Councils will amplify our voices, advocate for change, and ensure that more people recognise the needs of blind and partially sighted people across the country. I am very proud to be part of this and urge others to join."

​Callum Lancashire, Sight Loss Council Scotland engagement manager, explains: “I am excited to get the SLCs going in Scotland, and I hope as many people as possible come along to find out about what we are doing and how we can work together to try and improve the lives of blind and partially sighted people. The idea behind the SLC’s is that we want people to talk, share their experiences, share the things they like, their struggles and hopefully collectively we can make real changes for the better."

Lancashire added: “Our new SLCs offer an exciting and fresh opportunity to have the voices of blind and partially sighted people heard across Scotland. If the SLCs in Scotland are to make a real difference we need people to take part, and to achieve this we need to create a fun and supportive environment where members feel comfortable and empowered to share. If this sounds like this is something you would like to take part in, or know someone who might want to participate, please get in touch, or come along to our first taster event.”

​Emma Hughes, director of services at Thomas Pocklington Trust, said: “Thomas Pocklington Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with Sight Scotland, Sight Scotland Veterans and Visibility Scotland to launch Sight Loss Councils in Scotland for the first time.

​“This expansion builds on the success of Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Sight Loss Councils in England. Our model is centred around our core belief that only people with lived experience can truly explain what is needed to decision makers and service providers, so everyone can live full and independent lives. We are proud to be rolling out this model beyond England and its success is a testament to the hard work of all our volunteers.”

​The first Sight Loss Council Scotland meeting will take place at Summerhall, Library Gallery, Edinburgh, on Thursday, 25 April, from 2-4pm.

To join, you can call 0800 035 6409, email or simply arrive on the day.



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