Our engagement work covers includes external affairs and campaigns and the campaigning work of our Sight Loss Councils, Student Voices, Young Voices and our Student Support team to improve the lives of blind and partially sighted people.Find out more about 'Engagement'
In conversation with TPT trustee: Raj Mehta
We caught up with one of our trustees, Raj Mehta, about his experiences as a member of TPT’s board and other voluntary roles he has across the sector.
Raj serves on several sight loss charity boards and most recently joined Thomas Pocklington Trust as a trustee in December 2019. He said: “I want to make each day better for every blind and partially sighted person.”
Blind for most of his life with the eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa, Raj lost his sight in his late teen ages. In recent years, he was diagnosed with the neuro muscle condition, Myasthenia Gravis. He said the diagnosis strengthened his passion for the healthcare sector.
He said: “I have been pursuing my passion in raising awareness of health matters and promoting the capabilities of disabled people and, specifically, of sight-impaired individuals.”
Indeed, being blind himself, Raj brings a unique and diverse perspective to the many roles he currently holds within the health and voluntary sectors, serving as an advisor, non-executive director, trustee, mentor and trainer.
Reflecting on the last 12 months serving on TPT’s board, he praises TPT’s executive leadership for making the experience so fulfilling. He said: “I’m very proud of the executive team – they are all excellent in their roles. He goes on to tribute his fellow board members
“The whole board works collaboratively and through this deliver a strong performance.”
He added: “For me, being a trustee is highly motivating and rewarding. I have a real passion for the cause and that is what drives me.”
For anyone wondering if a trusteeship is right for them, Raj stressed the importance of becoming a trustee for the right reasons. He advised: “Think to yourself why you want to do it. You will have a responsibility to that organisation. You are there to influence and make things happen.”
He added: “Being a good trustee is not just about having the right motivations; you also need the right attributes. You need to be able to build a rapport quickly; you have to be warm and respectful, more importantly, you need to have a generous personality. If you are going to give something to people you shouldn’t necessarily expect anything in return.”
Over his long-spanning career at BP, Raj held various senior leadership posts in the areas of procurement and IT which he found very rewarding. He predominantly used screen reading software JAWS to perform in his role at BP.
Raj describes himself as having a “very strategic mindset for delivering results” – something which was not only vital in his work at BP but has been equally crucial in his trusteeship roles.
He said: “I believe the way I work has an impact based on my values and ethics. I am an advocate of sharing best practice, knowledge and experience and building and maintaining strong long-term relationships.”
Raj also believes that lived experience is valuable to bring to the table as a trustee, he said: “We are very fortunate on the TPT board of trustees as we have a good number of blind or partially sighted people that bring their lived experience to the table.”
Raj lives in London and is married with two sons. He holds both a BA and MA degree and his passions include; cricket, marathon running, skiing, canoeing and climbing.