Meet the Student Voices!

We currently have nine members of the Student Voices group. They represent a mix of students studying in further and higher education along with recent graduates.

Aleks

Hi, I’m Aleks based in North London.  I’m currently studying for my BA in Marketing at Middlesex University and I’m in my second year of a three-year course.  When I’m not studying, I really enjoy reading classical literature and watching history documentaries.  I’m also a huge fan of 90s and 00s pop culture.  I dislike seafood and rude people on the tube.  A fun fact about myself is that I’ve broken my arm five times!

I became a Student Voice volunteer in November 2022 because in the past, I have received a lot of essential support from charities, including Thomas Pocklington Trust.  I really wanted to give something back to the community as sometimes it can feel like there are too many obstacles in the world but together, we can overcome them.  The best thing about being a Student Voice is the opportunities to partner with other organisations to create a larger impact as well as developing my communication skills.

A picture of Paul, one of our Student Voices volunteers and Wanda, his Guide Dog.

Paul

Hi, I’m Paul and as a mature student, I had a gap year lasting nearly 30 years between leaving college and starting university.  Despite being born partially sighted, and now registered blind, I have always been an avid reader and interested in writing.  I began my undergraduate studies in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester in 2016, recently completed my Masters and have now applied to do my PhD.  Alongside this, I hope to find a literary agent for my children’s stories featuring my former guide dog, Wanda (pictured), who tells the stories from her point of view.

I have always been a tenacious campaigner and advocate for visually impaired people and believe passionately about getting their voices heard.  I joined Student Voices in 2021 and have met some wonderful friends from all around the country who I would never have met without Thomas Pocklington Trust.

A picture of Khansa standing, looking at the camera and smiling

Khansa

Hi, I’m Khansa Maria and I’m currently studying for my PhD in Education at the University of Oxford.  My research focuses on the intersection of cultural understanding of disability, education, and employment.  I am involved with various initiatives at university to promote accessibility.  In my free time, I enjoy exploring different cuisines and contemplating the mysteries of Harry Potter.

I wanted to volunteer with Thomas Pocklington Trust because I firmly believe that we need more people with disabilities to get involved with the advocacy process.  I wanted to give back to the community and continue to learn from experts who bridge the gap between the disability community and policy makers.  In the future, I hope to continue working in the inclusion, diversion and equality field with policy makers whilst cooperating with organisations and activists.

Picture of Ramneek, standing in front of a screen that says 'Introducing My Vision'

Ramneek

Hi, I’m Ramneek. I am currently studying Design at the Royal College of Art after completing my undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and I hope to combine these two passions one day and become a design engineer. I was the winner of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition 2022 where I championed for the VI community by designing MyVision, a modern day white cane enabling users to safely navigate their surroundings using AI, LiDAR and GPS technology. I have been an Accessibility Consultant on the Stemettes Youth Board and have also been shortlisted for the TechWomen100 awards 2022.

Yanan

Hi, I’m Yanan.  I’m currently in my first year studying at the University of Sheffield for my PhD in Management. My hobbies include playing the piano, collecting perfumes, reading, travelling, and cooking.  So far, I have travelled to 12 different countries and always ensure I try the local cuisine wherever I go.  I dislike watching movies.

I became a Student Voice volunteer in December 2023 because I wanted to support others by sharing my experiences.  The best thing about Student Voices is the peer support within our group.  Already, I feel that my communication skills have improved, and I hope to further develop my organisational skills too.

A head and shoulders picture of Zehra, wearing her sunglasses, looking at the camera and smiling

Zehra

Hi, I’m Zehra from Brighton.  I am in Year 13 at college studying A Levels in Law and Sociology as well as completing my EPQ.  My hobbies include reading, swimming, tandem cycling, chess and going to the cinema or theatre.  I dislike football, mangos and romcoms.

I joined Student Voices in May 2022 because I wanted to help other visually impaired students and advocate for them to have equal access to education.  I want to ensure visually impaired students get the best experience from education so they can achieve their future aspirations.  My highlight so far has been when I was involved in the filming of the Just Like You campaign video as it was a completely new and interesting experience for me.  Through volunteering, I have improved my confidence and communication skills including public speaking which I didn’t realise I could be good at or enjoy doing before.