December 2023

Welcome to the December edition of the London Scene newsletter, the regular bulletin to inform people with sight loss about accessible activities and events happening around London.  You’ll also find useful information about living with sight loss.

London Scene highlights cultural events and activities – some are designed particularly to enable access for people with sight loss – while all of them will be accessible with a volunteer guide. This is just a selection of what is available in and around London.

Please note that London Scene is for information only and the activities listed below are not led by Thomas Pocklington Trust (unless explicitly stated). We recommend contacting the venue directly for further information including accessibility, health and safety and ticket sales.

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter at any time, call 020 37613651 or email  Please note that a copy of this newsletter may be despatched before receiving your request to unsubscribe.

Charles Bonnet Group every other Thursday on zoom   6pm   December 14 & 28

It’s estimated that more a third of all blind and partially sighted people experience silent vivid hallucinations at some time in their sight loss journey.  This friendly supportive group is a safe place to share your experiences. It’s also a great place to pick up tips on how to live with this sometimes frightening and confusing condition.

To learn more about the condition you could try the Charles Bonnet Podcast if you have a smart speaker  google or Alexa simply say “play the Charles Bonnet Syndrome podcast” or you could follow one of the links Apple Podcasts – podcast/id1716217004

Spotify –

and if you would like to come along to the Charles bonnet support group then drop a line to or call Jonathan 07971 076440

Eye care and you Webinar 19 – Staying Safe in your home

Thomas Pocklington Trust is hosting a series of webinars around eye health, eye care and sight loss advice, information, and tips. If you are blind, partially sighted, at risk of sight loss or want to know more about maintaining eye health, then come along to these webinars.

The 19th webinar will focus on keeping safe in your home as a vision impaired person, in case of a fire and what to do in an emergency. The London Fire Brigade (LFB) will join us and share tips and precaution methods to avoid fires happening due to: electrical items, electrical charges, gas cookers, plugs etc.

In this webinar, learn what to do to prevent fires taking place, how to book a Fire Brigade service and what is included in this home visit. With increasing usage of candles, fireworks or fairy lights over the next few weeks, LFB will cover tips and share safety precautions.

Our expert speaker can answer any questions you may have on the day.

When: Tuesday 12th December 2023

Time: 7 – 8 pm

Where: online on Zoom

Presented by Mick Palmer – Station Commander, London Fire Brigade

Hosted by Bhavini Makwana, Campaigns & Projects Manager, Thomas Pocklington Trust

Co-hosted by Sylvia Chengo, Campaigns & Engagement intern, Thomas Pocklington Trust

If you would like to find out more or register to receive the joining link, please e-mail us at: or call 020 3761 3651.

If you do not have access to a smart device or Zoom, by providing your telephone number, we can dial you into the Zoom meeting. Please let us know if you would like to join in this way when registering.

We look forward to you joining the sessions!

Thomas Pocklington Employment Team

Thomas Pocklington’s Employment Team has been supporting blind and partially sighted people into employment by advising on the job application and interview process. The Team can review applications, tell you how to boost your CV and give you tips on being confident in an interview setting. If you’d like to know more or to refer yourself for a service is

The employment team are now offering virtual and face to face sessions and if you want to know more about these its or 07971 076440.

Tech Friday – in the Pocklington Hub

Tech Fridays are at the Pocklington Hub in central London, 3 Queen Square, London WC1 3AR. These are group sessions and from these, you can book a one-to-one follow-up class with our experts.

If you would like to be met at Russell Square underground, the nearest station to the Hub, please mention this when booking.

Below are this month’s sessions:

1st December Tech: your question answered come along and ask any questions you have regarding tech for blind and partially sighted people (plus early mince pies!).

To book places, get links or for more information it’s or call Jonathan 07971 076440.

Thomas Pocklington virtual groups change to Microsoft Teams

After four years it’s time for a change. The virtual groups and sessions offered by Thomas Pocklington will be moving to the Microsoft Teams platform. This includes our Eye care And You seminars, Charles Bonnet support groups and employment groups.  We’re looking forward to making the change from the New Year, 2024. We will be holding a number of test meetings to make sure group members are able to use the technology and if you’d like to take part in these or receive one to one support in accessing meetings on Teams please do email and we’ll get in touch or call Jonathan 07971 076440. It’s important to note that if you’ve been rung into a group meeting on your phone nothing will change for you.

New Sight Loss Council for South East London

We’re really excited to be growing our Sight Loss Councils in London by forming a South East London Sight Loss Council. This will cover Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark.

All Sight Loss Councils are led and supported by blind and partially sighted people, and aim to make a real impact and positive change in the local communities.

If you are a blind or partially sighted person based in South East London, and want to improve access and awareness amongst service providers and businesses in your area, we want to hear from you!

We are keen to hear from everyone who has a passion for change across the region, but are particularly looking for people based in Bexley, Bromley, Lambeth and Lewisham to ensure a broad representation across the South East.

Email us at

London Sight Loss Councils

London Sight Loss Councils have presented an award at the 2023 CiTTi Awards. We were also shortlisted for two awards for work with Lime to make our streets accessible for blind and partially sighted people.

We are so pleased to have been nominated and congratulate this year’s winners. Whilst we didn’t win an award this year, we are thrilled that our work is recognised and valued across the sector.

Read more here:



A very popular sport with few small adaptations to make it accessible for players who are blind or partially sighted. Cricket teams consist of four players who are B1 or Low Partial (low B2) and seven players who are partially sighted (typically B2 and B3).


Metro Blind Sport offers cricket training sessions at Hornsey Cricket Club nets on Thursdays (during the cricket season) from 5.30pm onwards. These are open to all who want to try blind and partially sighted cricket.

We have two teams, the “Metro” team, who take part in the BCEW National League Division One matches and the ‘Metro Devils’ our development team take part in the BCEW Southern Regional League.

Both teams take part in friendlies and various cup tournaments, both home and away.

Would you like to get involved?

Please contact Rory Field, our cricket sports lead
email: or phone: 077 4232 3224

Or contact


Cycling for individuals with a visual impairment is most commonly done in tandem. This consists of a sighted pilot at the front guiding.

The other option is side-by-side cycling, where an adapted bike is used. This adapted bike is made up of 4 bikes attached together, with the front right bike being the pilot bike. Therefore, allowing for 1 sighted pilot and 3 other cyclists. The bike is electronically assisted, so there is optional pedal power from passengers.


Metro Blind Sports members have enjoyed the Ride: Side by side, and now it is called side by side Cycle Taxi, and the great news is that now the DfT funds it, and it is now available in West and East London!

The new Cycle Taxis are based in East and West London neighbourhoods and ready to make journeys in approx. 3km radius.

East London: Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and West Newham.

West London: North Kensington & Chelsea and North Hammersmith & Fulham.

The pickup locations will be at the nearest tube station

The East London pick up location is Leyton tube station

The West London pick up location is Latimer Road tube station

Would you like to get involved or register your interest?

To book online:
To book by phone: 020 8980 7998


Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going To Happen

Date: Thursday 7 December 2023

Time: 7:30pm

Ticket price: From £15

Touch Tour: 6:30pm

Audio described in-house.

The Edinburgh Fringe sensation transfers to the Bush for its first London run.

Fresh from sweeping critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe – winning both a Scotsman Fringe First and The Stage Edinburgh Award – Samuel Barnett reprises his starring role in Marcelo Dos Santos’ laugh-out-loud exploration of intimacy, anxiety and ego.

“I’m 36, I’m a comedian, and I’m about to kill my boyfriend…”

After years of swiping, a permanently single, professionally neurotic stand-up finally meets Mr Right – and then does everything wrong.

Strap in for a delightfully dark journey through self-awareness and self-sabotage as he decides whether love is worth the price of a killer punchline.

Feeling Afraid… is the razor sharp hit play from the producers of the Olivier award-winning Baby Reindeer and the international smash-hit Fleabag, and is directed by Olivier award-winning Matthew Xia.

Please note that the audio description for this performance is not delivered by VocalEyes. Every effort has been made to ensure that these details are correct; however, please do double-check with the venue for the availability of introductory notes when booking.

Venue: Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush, London W12 8LJ

Booking contact number: 020 8743 5050

Booking contact email:

Mates In Chelsea

Date: Saturday 9 December 2023

Time: 2:30 pm

Ticket price: From £15

Touch Tour: 1pm

Audio-described by VocalEyes.

Things aren’t looking good for Theodore “Tug” Bungay.
His mother, Lady Agrippina, has a plan to cut off his funds. His fed-up fiancée wants to drag him up the aisle. An oligarch is eyeing up his beloved Northumberland castle. Is Tug’s dissolute life about to change completely? Or will he get to carry on doing exactly as he pleases without ever facing any consequences?

Directed by Royal Court Associate Director Sam Pritchard, Rory Mullarkey’s riotous new play takes inspiration from Wilde and Wodehouse to create a contemporary comedy of manners set among the dwellers of south west London who – somehow – remain our country’s ruling class.

To book access tickets online please log on to your account at

Please note: online discounts are limited to two per customer per performance. If you wish to book a larger number of access tickets please contact the box office directly at

Venue: Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, Chelsea, London SW1W 8AS

Booking contact number: 020 7565 5000

Booking contact email:

A Christmas Carol

Date: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Time: 7:30pm

Ticket price: £16 – £49.50

Touch Tour: 6:15pm

Audio-described by VocalEyes.

Mark Gatiss’s acclaimed retelling of Dickens’s Winter ghost story returns to the hauntingly atmospheric Alexandra Palace with a brilliant new cast. Star of stage and screen Keith Allen (Shallow Grave, Robin Hood, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Pembrokeshire Murders, The Homecoming) will play the role of Scrooge with Peter Forbes (Follies) as Marley.

Age recommendation 12+

Running time approx. 2 hours 10 minutes (incl. interval).

Venue: Alexandra Palace Theatre, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY

Booking contact number: 020 8365 4343

Booking contact email:


Date: Saturday 16 December 2023

Time: 6:00pm

Ticket price: £15 – £38

Touch Tour: 4:30pm

Audio-described by VocalEyes.

Welcome to Brixton Lane! Forget the glass slipper or the pumpkin carriage this Christmas; join Cindi-Ella in this reimagined tale of Cinderella full of rap, poetry, vegetables and vibes you can dance to!

Venue: Brixton House, 385 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8GL

Booking contact number: 020 7582 7680

Booking contact email:

Elf The Musical

Date: Tuesday 19 December 2023

Time: 2:30pm

Ticket price: From £27.50

Touch Tour: TBC

Audio-described by VocalEyes.

ELF is the funny and charming tale of Buddy, who mistakenly crawled into Santa’s bag as a baby and was raised as an elf! Way too tall and not so great at his job, Buddy is the North Pole’s biggest misfit… and knows he’ll never belong.

When Santa tells him the truth, Buddy heads to New York to find his birth father (who turns out to be quite high on the Naughty List). After causing some merry mayhem in Manhattan, Buddy finally discovers the gift of family and falls in love. And when Santa’s sleigh crashes in Central Park, it’s Buddy who finds a way to save Christmas forever!

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval)

Venue: Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ

Booking contact number: 0345 200 7982

Booking contact email:


Lights Up: The Cult of Beauty

Date: Saturday 16 December 2023

Time: 10:00am

Ends: Saturday 16 December 2023 at 2:00 pm

Ticket price: Free

Audio described in-house.

Explore The Cult of Beauty exhibition with brighter and more even lighting conditions across the gallery.

Audio digital guides are available, and staff are on hand for additional support. There will be a 30-minute audio described tour from 11:30am to 12pm. The Lights Up session is drop in, and you don’t need to book, but you do need to book a space for the 30-minute Audio Described tour.

Tickets on Eventbrite.

Please note that the audio description at this event is not delivered by VocalEyes. Every effort has been made to ensure that these details are correct; however, please do double-check with the venue when booking.

Venue: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE

Booking contact number: 020 7611 2222

Booking contact email:

Frameless: An Immersive Art Experience

Date: Tuesday 19 December 2023

Time: 1:30pm

Ticket price: £15 Adult or £10 Child & Free Carer

Audio described in-house.

Frameless is an accessible, multisensory, award-winning immersive art experience. Frameless offers audio described tours that are designed for visitors who are blind or visually impaired. The tour provides enhanced support with headsets, linked to a dedicated guide who leads groups through the galleries describing the evolving visual content alongside the music.


Tickets have been significantly reduced to £15 for Adults and £10 for Children.

Disabled visitors are also eligible for a complimentary, accompanying carer’s ticket, which must be booked at the same time. 

Forthcoming tours will be taking place on Tuesday 19th of December 2023, with tours running both during the morning and afternoon.

Book via

If you require any further support or assistance, or if those dates don’t work for you then please call 07590689593 between Tuesday and Thursday, or email

Please note that the audio description for this performance is not delivered by VocalEyes. Every effort has been made to ensure that these details are correct; however, please do double-check with the venue for the availability of introductory notes and touch tours when booking.

Venue: Frameless London, 6 Marble Arch London W1H 7AP

Booking contact email:

Local organisation activities

Beyond Sight Loss

Beyond Sight Loss is an organisation based in Tower Hamlets (Bethnal Green).  We have guest speakers and we can arrange meet and greet service, at Bethnal Green underground station for those attending members meeting.

We have monthly meetings and activities.

We have zoom meetings for those who prefer them, taking place Mondays every fortnight on zoom:  Listen to a guest speaker and discuss relevant news and events.

We have a Ladies zoom meeting taking place on every last Monday of the month.

Zoom sessions start at 12 midday and finish at 1.30 pm.  We also have the facility to dial you into the zoom sessions.

For joining information, please email

Eye Matter

Eye Matter is a multi-activity peer support and social inclusion charity for anyone living with a visual impairment.

For more information, contact us on

or call Tel: 07968 722664

Blind in Greenwich

The Blind in Greenwich coffee mornings are back!

Where: The Guard House Pub, No 1 Street, Woolwich SE18 6GH

When:  Wednesday 6 December 10:30 – 12:30 then the first Wednesday of every month.

A chance to socialise with other blind and partially sighted people from the borough of Greenwich.

For more details you can email or phone Steven Reed on 07958 654023.

VI Friends Group

VI Friends is a friendly, supportive, independent group of visually impaired adults all of whom currently live in Greater London. All our members are visually impaired, and we are democratically run by our members.

We currently meet on Zoom every two weeks. One of these meetings is formal and the other is a friendly and supportive social gathering followed by an audio book group. We often have guest speakers at our formal meetings and discuss things that affect VIP’s in Greater London and beyond.

If you would like to know more, then please send an email to

Sight Support Group – hosted by One Place East with Vision Ability

One Place East with Vision Ability is organising Sight Support Group for Visually Impaired People, in Redbridge & Newham. Other borough’s are more than welcome to attend.

These meetings will give people the chance to Socialise and Strengthen the bonds of our Community. Further to that, we can offer people support with Benefit Applications, IT training or any other issue that they are facing.

There will be a guest speaker each time.

Venue: Studio 2, Redbridge Central Library and Museum, Clements Road, Ilford, IG1 1EA

The date: Tuesday 5th December from 11.00am to 1.00pm

For more information, please call Owais Niaz at 07943722343

Enabled Living Coffee Mornings

At Enabled Living we work with blind, deaf, deafblind or those with visual impairments or hard of hearing to provide sensory support.

We know it’s important to feel part of the community and we offer a monthly coffee morning so you can meet people in a similar situation and find out about what support is available.

Our coffee mornings are open to Newham residents.

When: 2nd Monday of each month

Time: 11am -12.30pm

Where: The Enabled Living Lounge, 200 Chargeable Lane Plaistow E13 8DW

If you would like to attend, please contact us.

T: 0203 373 8800


November Riddles and Answers

Riddle: What can go through glass without breaking it?

Answer: A light

Riddle: What gets bigger the more you take away?

Answer: A hole

Riddle: I have no life, but I can die. What am I?

Answer: A battery

Riddle: What kind of room has no walls, door or windows?

Answer: A mushroom

Riddle: It belongs to you, but your friends use it more. What is it?

Answer: Your name

December Riddles

Riddle: What 2 things can you never eat for breakfast?

Riddle: I make a loud sound when I’m changing. When I do change, I get bigger but weigh less. What am I?

Riddle: It has keys, but no locks. It has space, but no room. You can enter, but can’t go inside. What is it?

Riddle: I’m orange, I wear a green hat and I sound like a parrot. What am I?

Riddle: What runs all around a backyard, yet never moves?

Answers will be in the January issue of London Scene

BAME Vision International Day of Disabled Persons Webinar – Vision Through Creativity

BAME Vision are pleased to be hosting a webinar for International Day of Disabled Persons.

This is an awareness day on 3rd December. On this day, we celebrate the achievements of people living with disabilities and raise awareness for the challenges they face, with a focus on equity and access.

At the webinar Vision Through Creativity, we will hear from talented, determined and inspirational people living with a vision impairment from ethnically diverse communities.

We have an exciting lineup of speakers on our panel, who will discuss their skills and passions, how they came to be where they are now, the adaptations or services they accessed in order for them to succeed in their chosen career or hobby. Our panellists all have experience in the creative arts field including music, digital content creation and other creative forms of expression.

The speakers are:

  • Jun Seok Kim (artiste name Seoul Train)- Seoul Train is a Korean adoptee raised in the Netherlands and now based in London. He is an award-winning composer, self-producing artist, DJ, pianist and percussionist.
  • Joy Addo – Digital communications Assistant at Attitude Is Everything and host of Joys World the Podcast. She is a mother of an 8 year old daughter and expecting a second! Joy is a huge believer in body positivity.
  • Ibraheem Iqbal – Diagnosed with keratoconus and rod-cone dystrophy, registered blind at age 13. Ibraheem is a qualified personal trainer and former Paralympic athlete-in-training. He is a disability rights ambassador and mentor for visually-impaired people and their families. An international speaker, social influencer, chef, business owner and award-winning psychology graduate.

When: Wednesday 6th December 2023

Time: 7 – 8.30pm

Where:  Online via Zoom

To register, email

For further information, visit

The Eye Believe

The Eye Believe Podcast is a group of blind/visually impaired individuals from the black/Asian communities discussing their experiences of sight loss whilst trying to continue with regular day to day activities. The main purpose of the podcast is to inspire, empower and share experiences with those who may be struggling in silence and to encourage them to realise there is life after sight loss.  Each podcast usually has a panel of three guests who give their personal experiences in relation to the discussion topic, particularly focussing upon the cultural impact as having a disability is regarded to be extremely taboo in some of our communities. All views offered by the panellist are their own opinions and experiences, however they provide a fantastic insight into the additional cultural barriers they have had to face in addition to managing their disability. If you have an interest to learn about the life and world of visually impaired people, particularly from minority ethnic backgrounds then please tune in on a monthly basis to The Eye Believe Podcast, see link below:

Spotify page:


If you want to get in touch with any of the EyeBelieve members please send us an email at:

Finally, if you are visually impaired and from an ethnic minority background and would like to join our group and share your lived experiences on these podcasts, please get in touch via email at: or

Blind Ambition

Blind Ambition invites you to join us for the Working Age Forum

WAF November 15th 2023, 6:30pm-7:30pm:

Registration Link:

Free VI Employment Support The Employment Webinars:

We are excited to continue our mission at Blind Ambition and RNIB to assist job seekers with sight loss. We cordially invite you to participate in the fourth series of our employment webinars, where we build upon our past successes to support your career advancement.

Our series offers 16 sessions, each tailored to address key areas that will enhance your job search skills. These sessions range from effective CV writing to interview strategies, personal branding, and beyond.

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
– Monday, 5th December, 7.30-8.30pm: “How to Find a Support Worker” with our in-house specialist. Register Support Worker

– Monday, 12th December, 7.30-8.30pm: “Confidence Building/Resilience Building” with George Bradley and Anneka Kumar. Register Confidence

– Monday, 9th January, 7.30-8.30pm: “Transferable Skills/SWOT Analysis” with Debbie Denyer. Register Transferable Skills
If you would like to register for all please email us here
These free webinars are conveniently accessible from your home, providing valuable insights and skills to boost your employability.

Embark on this journey and make your next career move a success by registering here and visiting Blind Ambition and RNIB Looking for Work for more resources.


We are looking for a Blind/VIP guitarist and a keyboard player, to join our Blind/VIP community band.

We have great fun jamming and practising for events throughout the year.


WEDNESDAY’S. Time 10:40am/2:45pm  (Parking / Disabled Access)


Pauline Durkin (Director PSC)  (07594) 068684

Jonathan Goode (Director PSC)  (07957) 976707


Acknowledgements: We are grateful to service users, the VocalEyes website and for their postings and related text which enabled this newsletter.

Best wishes from all at Thomas Pocklington Trust