Rainbow Mbuangi from TPT’s Young Voices volunteers recently starred in a film to improve VI awareness among Five Guys’ 4,000 staff.Find out more about 'Young Voices Star Helps Improve VI Awareness for Five Guys Staff'
What the Student Voices and Young Voices Have Been Doing
Keep up to date with everything our Student Voices and Young Voices groups have been doing. Check back regularly for the latest updates.
Both groups have been busy since the Autumn of 2023, We have had one new Student Voice and two new Young Voices sign up to volunteer who make fantastic additions to the groups and are already involved in various opportunities. You can meet all our current volunteers on our Meet the Student Voices and Meet the Young Voices pages.
The Student Voices were approached by two organisations to contribute to their research projects. Five university students took part in interviews with researchers from the University of Birmingham. The aim of the research is to develop university guidance for the socio-emotional needs of students with a vision impairment. One college student took part in research with the Department for Education around finding education and training opportunities and any barriers they experienced. The students are looking forward to finding out the results and recommendations following the completion of both these areas of work.
The Thomas Pocklington Trust Education team have been running several online events to support blind and partially sighted students transitioning to different stages of education. Some of our volunteers have kindly attended these events to share their experiences moving from secondary school to college and their experiences navigating university. During these events they offered advice, top tips and answered attendees questions. You can find out more about our upcoming transitions events here.
Thomas Pocklington Trust have provided funding for phase two of a British Youth Council project called Access and Assistance for All. The project aims to increase access to assistive technology across further education colleges as well as raising awareness of how to make resources accessible by design, so they are compatible with assistive technology. To achieve this, they are asking colleges to agree to five pledges they will commit to upholding, linked to accessibility and assistive technology. We have three Student Voices and two Young Voices involved in this campaign alongside ten other volunteers from the British Youth Council. They have attended several online meetings and one face-to-face planning day at University College London (UCL). One of our volunteers was the first in the group to get a college to commit and agree to the pledges – what a fantastic result! The students hope many more colleges will sign up as the project continues over the next few months. Find out more about the Access and Assistance for All project!
Finally, we have had two of our existing Young Voices progress into Young Voices Young Leaders roles – congratulations! This role provides them with additional opportunities to share their knowledge and experience, have their say and develop new skills. The two volunteers agreed to speak at an external online event organised by Hounslow Council, for blind and partially sighted students, on the theme of ‘Preparing for Adulthood’. They were asked about their experiences of choosing their education setting and courses, successes and challenges they have faced as well as answering a range of questions from the attendees. The event was well attended, and the students got some fantastic feedback.
Coming up in the next few months is Student Volunteer Week which the students have been working hard on creating content to share, Young Voices will head off on their first residential of 2024 and students will continue their hard work on the British Youth Council accessibility project. You can keep up to date with everything the groups are doing by checking back here regularly or following us on Instagram @thomas_pocklington_trust.
Khansa is a member of our Student Voices, and she shares with us what volunteering as a student means to her. Read her story.Find out more about '“Through Volunteering You Can Help Those Who Encounter the Same Obstacles as You”'
As part of their DSA campaign, Student Voices met with Lord Chris Holmes to discuss their experiences. Read Paul and Asa’s blog to find out what happened!Find out more about 'Student Voices Share Their Experiences of DSA with Lord Chris Holmes'
Young Voices member, Elliot Greco, campaigns around mental health issues and advocates for other blind and partially sighted young people. For Mental Health Awareness Week, Elliot shares a poem he wrote.Find out more about 'Young Voices Poet Shares How it Feels to Have a Visual Impairment'