Volunteers’ Week 2024 – Thank You!

What is Volunteers’ Week?

At Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT), we have over 200 volunteers with personal and lived experience of sight loss plus others who support our cause.

We celebrate all our volunteers who help us carry out the work we do in improving the lives of blind and partially sighted people. Volunteers’ Week celebrates the amazing contributions volunteers make to organisations like TPT across the UK. It provides the opportunity to recognise, celebrate and thank our incredible volunteers for all they contribute to our community, the voluntary sector and society as a whole. Volunteers’ Week was first established in 1984 so this year, we are excited to be involved in celebrating the 40th anniversary from Monday 3rd to Sunday 9th June.

Who are TPT’s Volunteers?

As a charity, TPT relies on the enthusiasm and kindness of our volunteers to dedicate their time to a cause they are passionate about. At the moment, we have 171  volunteers spread across the following volunteer roles:

  • Sight Loss Council Volunteers – These are blind and partially sighted volunteers who lead our regional Sight Loss Councils (SLC). We now have around 25 regional SLC groups with 178 volunteers. They work on a mixture of national, regional and local projects to improve for the lives of blind and partially sighted people in their communities such as accessible streets, accessible health and fitness, accessible transport as well as arts, culture and retail.
  • Student Voice and Young Voice Volunteers – These two groups are made up of students with lived experience of sight loss. They work in collaboration with our Education Team to influence and support their areas of work. In addition, they work as ambassadors, attending different opportunities to share their experiences of education and give advice to other students and professionals.
  • Sighted Guides – We rely on our sighted guide volunteers to support our work whether that be providing sighted guidance to a volunteer attending our SLC Conference or attending events with blind and partially sighted people who need sighted guidance.


Why Volunteer?

There are lots of benefits to volunteering. Generally, TPT retains volunteers for a long period of time, which is testament to how much our volunteers enjoy working with us and the benefits as a result of  volunteering.

All of our volunteering opportunities are very social. They provide lots of opportunities to meet new people in a safe and friendly atmosphere. You are always part of a team, supported by TPT staff – over half of whom are blind or partially sighted – working collaboratively and supporting one another.

All our volunteers are actively working on projects that will bring about change to improve the lives of blind and partially sighted people. Some recent successes of our volunteers include:

Finally, volunteering can help develop your skillset in lots of different areas. As previously mentioned, teamwork is a huge part of volunteering at TPT along with communication with your fellow volunteers and other stakeholders to move your project forward and the wider public who you may engage with at events or training. Lots of our volunteers cite improved confidence as a result of their volunteering.

Getting the opportunity to try new things, to be stretched but in a supportive and encouraging way, has really helped in other aspects of life. Volunteering is not always plain sailing, therefore building resilience and problem-solving skills are key to success.

What do our Volunteers say?

Aleks, a Student Voice Volunteer said:

“As I was very shy and not self-confident, volunteering was not really on my to do list. Nevertheless, since several charities, including TPT, helped me tremendously, I had a strong urge to give back to the community through volunteering. In a million years, I could not imagine how actually impactful the volunteering experience would be. I developed several transferable skills, met new cool people, and participated in life-changing campaigns. Particularly, my biggest achievement with TPT so far has been speaking at the Houses of Parliament on the issues faced by VI students in education.”

SLC member Emma Blackmore said:

“Volunteering for SLC has so many benefits. It helps to highlight issues that need to be changed in the local community and builds confidence in yourself and others. You can also make friends and collaborate to support the VI community.

“Joining had a positive impact on my life. You learn skills, and you’re also helping make a better community for people with sight loss. It really is so rewarding.”


Sight Loss Councils are currently recruiting new blind or partially sighted members aged 19 and over to lead its work. Whether you’re interested in public speaking or honing your social media skills, there’s something for everyone to get involved in. Find out if we are recruiting in your area on our Sight Loss Council ‘join us’ page and complete our application form.

We are currently recruiting Student Voice volunteers to join us! You can find out more about becoming a student voice on our , which features a role description and FAQ document, or contact our friendly volunteering team to get more information about the role and how to apply by contacting volunteering@pocklington.org.uk


Back to top