London Scene Newsletter March 2024

Welcome to the March 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.


TPT Events

Eyecare and You Webinar 22 – An insight into glaucoma.

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 your eye health, then come along to these webinars.

The 22nd webinar will focus on the eye condition called ‘Glaucoma’. You will learn what Glaucoma is, who can develop symptoms, what the causes are, as well as its long term effects on the eyes.

You may have healthy eyes and good vision, but it’s still important to have your eyes checked often. Learn more about the treatments available, and we will share tips for living well with Glaucoma, including tips for your family.

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

When: Tuesday 12th March 2024

Time: 7 – 8 pm

Where: online on Zoom

Presented by: Dr Hari Jayaram MA MSc PhD FRCSEd FRCOphth – Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Director of Glaucoma Services – Moorfields Eye Hospital

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

Co-hosted by Sylvia Chengo, Thomas Pocklington Trust / BAME Vision Intern

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!

NB – Please note all webinars from April 2024, will be hosted on Microsoft Teams. Please download this app on the device you would normally access the webinar.


Are blind and partially sighted people on your MPs’ agenda?

Thomas Pocklington Trust is organising a “Can You See Us” event in parliament in March 2024, to discuss the challenges that face blind and vision impaired people, across the UK.

We have arranged some engaging and interactive ways for Members of Parliament to learn and hear about the challenges around Transport, the built environment, inaccessible healthcare information, Education, Employment and voting. MPs will learn about these issues by taking part in the activities and directly speaking to our staff and volunteers, who all have lived experience.

We would like as many MP’s as possible to attend and we would appreciate if you can spend just 2 minutes writing to your MP and inviting them to the Can You See Us event. You can do this via this link.

There is more information on our web page:


Charles Bonnet Support Group 2024

Every other Thursday from 7 March at 6pm on Zoom.

Esme’s Umbrella, the national charity for people with Charles bonnet Syndrome, estimates that up to a million blind and partially sighted people experience silent hallucinations due to their sight loss. Some experience infrequent episodes that never return and some continue to live seeing strange and vivid images for many years.

This group provides a safe place to come along and discuss what you see and the strategies you have developed to accept their appearance. You can simply drop into the group once or become a regular attender. If you’d like to know more, call Jonathan 07971 076440. If you’d like to know more about CBS then why not visit the Esme’s Umbrella Website or ask Alexa to play “The Charles Bonnet Podcast”. If you’d like to know more about how to join a zoom or Teams meeting, please call Jonathan Ward


New Sight Loss Council for South East London

We’re still looking for new volunteers for our South East London Sight Loss Council. This covers 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


New Sight Loss Council Members Wanted for North London

We also need volunteers for our North London SLC. Spaces are available for those blind and partially sighted people who live in boroughs north of the river, whether it be as far west as Hounslow or as east as Redbridge. Anyone interested can email us at


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, email

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


Let’s talk Jobs

Every 2nd Monday of the Month from 11 March.

This is a virtual session taking place MS Teams, led by Joanne, TPT’s assistive technology intern. This is a friendly peer support group where you can come along and discuss any aspect of working as a Blind or Partially sighted person. Perhaps you’d like to discuss job searching or being interviewed. You may be frustrated by Access to Work or maybe you’ve got some really good news to share. Whatever your reason for coming along, you will be most welcome. For more information, contact Joanne Omorodion on  There’s no better way to spend what might still be a cold wet March afternoon!


Tech and Talk  a virtual session 

Wednesday 13th March at 2pm on MS Teams

This is a friendly session where you can come along and ask questions about technology. We’re happy to help wherever we can. For more information email


Tech Friday’s at the Hub

At the Pocklington Hub in central London, 3 Queen Square, WC1 3AR.

Tech Fridays are taking a break in March but will resume in April.

If you can get along to the Thomas Pocklington Hub on 26 April, thereafter the last Friday of the month, you’ll find the assistive tech team. The team will be available from 10am-2pm to answer any questions you may have about assistive technology.

This month we’ll host a session on iPhone and iPad accessibility. This will start at 11am.  If you’d like to book a place on our accessible iProduct session or just tell us you are coming along, please call Jonathan 07971 076 440 or email

The closest Tube station to the TPT Hub is Russell Square which is about a 5 minute walk and we are happy to guide anyone on request.


We’re changing to MS Teams

From March 2023, all Thomas Pocklington activities will take place on MS Teams. We are keen that everyone who wants to can still join in, whether it’s an activity for blind and partially sighted students, people with CBS or those wishing to attend an eye care and you webinar. Not forgetting the groups hosted by the TPT employment team.

MS Teams, if you’ve not got it already, won’t cost you any money. Step one is for you to download the app from wherever you get your apps. Like other apps you download, there will likely be a setup process to follow. Once downloaded you can click or activate the link in the same way you have joined a zoom meeting. We will still have the facility to call you into a meeting on your mobile or house phone. If none of this makes sense, or you have any problems or questions, drop us a line at and we’ll aim to get back to you as quickly as we can. We want nobody to miss out so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your questions. We are always happy to help.


Sports and Leisure


Dance classes for people with sight loss

Learn contemporary dance through improvisation and self expression at Rambert, in partnership with Eyes 4 Positivity.

Where: Rambert, 99 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PP. Participants can meet us at Waterloo station to walk over to Rambert together.

When: Saturdays until 30th March, and then starting up again on 27th April

Time: 12.30pm – 2.30pm, for adults 18+ with visual impairments and/or sight loss. Guide dogs welcome.

Cost: £7 per class

For more information, email or call 020 8630 0600.



Metro is holding a VI cricket taster session, based at Lords within the indoor cricket centre. This is a great opportunity to try out VI cricket or come along and practice ready for the upcoming season!

Saturday 30th March 4pm-6pm

The nearest tube station is St Johns Wood, which is on the Jubilee line. For more information and to book your place, please contact Rory Field on: or call 07837721648.

For any general enquiries for Metro Blind Sport activities, please reach out to us on:

Hoping to see you at a Metro Blind Sport activity soon.




Extant presents Unseen

A gripping new audio drama that examines the subtle and insidious effect of domestic abuse on the blind and visually impaired (VI) community, using empathy, hope and candour to raise awareness of this important subject.

Launching during NO MORE week on 4th March 2024 which raises awareness on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence and inspires individuals, organisations and communities to make change and in the 50th anniversary year of Women’s Aid.

Unseen has been devised and led by a VI and disabled creative team, is directed by Ben Wilson, Extant’s current Trainee Artistic Director, and features a cameo appearance from Extant’s Artistic Director, Maria Oshodi.

  • Unseen will be available to stream for free from 4th March 2024 at
  • Running time: 30 minutes
  • Age recommendation: 14+
  • Content Warning: This audio drama contains themes of domestic abuse, violence.



Date: Friday 15 March 2024

Time: 7:30 pm

Ticket price: Tickets from £12 – access concessions are available through the box office and access booking online, please visit  to learn more

Touch Tour: 6pmAudio described in-house.

Do you want this hanging over your kitchen table to remind you of your Daddy?

Modern day Germany. Nicola and Philipp argue as they clear out their late father’s house. When they find an old painting stashed in the attic, things get savage.

The painting is a quaint street scene from 1920s Vienna; the work of a failed artist who abandoned his original vocation for Nazism… Nicola wants to sell it. Philipp wants to keep it. Philipp’s wife Judith wants to burn it.

Nachtland (an invented German word suggesting a place of eternal darkness) is a mordant satire about marriage, legacy, the rise of the new right and the terrible impulses buried deep. The UK premiere is directed by 2023 Tony Award-winner Patrick Marber (Leopoldstadt). Marius von Mayenburg is one of Germany’s foremost playwrights. His plays include Fireface, Plastic and The Ugly One.

Booking contact email

Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London, SE1 8LZ   Tel. 020 7922 2922


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One & Two

Palace Theatre

Date: Saturday 16 March 2024

Time: 2:00 pm

Ticket price: From £15.00

Touch Tour: 12:00pm

Audio described by VocalEyes.

Part One: 2pm

Part Two: 7pm

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne. It is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.

19 years after Harry, Ron, and Hermione saved the wizarding world, they’re back on a most extraordinary new adventure – this time, joined by a brave new generation that has only just arrived at the legendary Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Prepare for spectacular spells, a mind-blowing race through time, and an epic battle to stop mysterious forces, all while the future hangs in the balance.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is one play presented in two Parts, which are intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings.

Booking contact number 0330 333 4815 Booking contact email



Date: Thursday 21 March 2024

Time: 7:30 pm

Ticket price: From £25

Touch Tour: 5:15pm

Audio described by VocalEyes

Winner of over 100 major awards, the unforgettable West End and Broadway musical phenomenon tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz.

Booking contact number 0333 009 5399 Booking contact email

Apollo Victoria, 17 Wilton Road, Pimlico, London, SW1V 1LG


Polka Children’s Theatre

Polka is a dedicated children’s theatre in Wimbledon, empowering children to navigate their world through inspirational theatre and creative experiences.

We have some audio described (AD), performances coming up in the summer.

The Everywhere Bear

Ages 3-7

The Everywhere Bear has a wonderful time with the children in Class One, but one day he gets more than he bargained for when he falls unnoticed from a backpack and embarks on his own big adventure! He’s washed down a drain and whooshed out to sea, rescued by a fishing boat, loaded onto a lorry, carried off by a seagull… how will he ever make it back to Class One?

Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb’s beautiful story springs to life with rhyme, original music and delightfully expressive puppets in Polka’s fun and exciting stage adaptation.

Audio described: Sunday 9 July at 1.30pm

AD Trailer:



Ages 6-12

Meet Hairnry. He’s a follicle, and one in a million.

Hairnry arrives at Hairy Mission Control with big dreams – to be Head Hair. He’s done his time being a toe hair, a knee hair, even a solitary mole hair! But is he ready to move to the top job?

His three follicle friends are on hand to put him through his paces and make sure he’s ready to be a Super-Hairo.

There will be screams of laughter. Slippery shampoo. Falling over. Trying to stand up again. Falling over some more. And some great songs too. One thing is for sure: It’s going to get HAIRY!

Audio described: Sunday 6 August

We offer reduced rate tickets for those with access requirements, as well as a complimentary ticket for a companion/carer.

This can be booked via our Box Office (020 8543 4888 or



National Gallery

Audio Art: Utterly in the picture

Master of the Story of Griselda

Date: Tuesday, 26 March 2024

Time: 1 – 2 pm (drop-in)

Location: Gallery B

Speaker: Belle Smith

Accessible: For blind or partially sighted

Join us for an audio described talk on ‘The Story of Griselda’

Read more about Audio Art: Utterly in the picture: Master of the Story of Griselda

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN



Holbein at the Tudor Court

Descriptive Event:

Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s Gallery, London

Date: Tuesday 12 March 2024

Time: 1:45 pm

Ticket price: £9.50

Audio described in-house.

This event, for blind and partially-blind people, will explore Tudor dress. In partnership with the School of Historical Dress, The Queen’s Gallery will share what the Tudor characters from the exhibition are wearing and Principal Jenny Tirimani will bring costumes for examination and handling.

Have a guided wander through the exhibition and learn about the works when the Gallery is closed to the general public.

Booking contact number 0303 123 7324 Booking contact email


Lights Up on The Cult of Beauty

Date: Tuesday 19 March 2024

Time: 2:00 pm

Ticket price: Free

Audio-described in-house.

Lights Up sessions are an opportunity to explore our exhibition ‘The Cult of Beauty’ with brighter and more even lighting conditions across the gallery.

A digital guide with audio description and BSL videos, visual story, sensory map and large-print guides are available for use in the gallery, and staff are on hand for additional support.

These Lights Up sessions are drop-in. You can arrive at any time during the four-hour session between 2pm and 6pm.

During this session there will also be a 30-minute audio-described tour of the exhibition at 3:30pm.

Key visual elements referred to during the tour will be described by your guide.

You will need to book a ticket to join the tour.

Booking contact email

Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE,  Tel. 020 7611 2222


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 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 March from 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 boroughs 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

Date: Tuesday 5 March 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



Blind Ambition

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.

For more information, please email us here
Our 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.


Vision Foundation

Text VIP to 85258 for accessible, confidential mental health support!


We are proud to announce our partnership with the mental health organisation,Shout,to offer free and confidential text support to blind and partially sighted people in distress.

We know that people affected by sight loss are more than twice as likely to have experienced difficulties with unhappiness or depression than the UK average. Despite this, only 17% of people experiencing sight loss are offered emotional support in relation to their deteriorating vision. Our collaboration with Shout offers a free, 24/7 text service for blind and partially sighted people to speak about how they are feeling and receive support in finding next steps.

To use the service, simply text VIP to 85258 to start a conversation with a trained Shout Volunteer who can support you with issues including anxiety, stress, loneliness, or depression. The volunteer will text you back and forth to take your next steps towards feeling better. You only need to share what you feel comfortable with, and the service is confidential.

If your life is at imminent risk, call the emergency services on 999.

How does it work?

The free, 24/7 service is available to anyone in the UK. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope, all you need to do to start a conversation is text VIP to 85258. Once you’ve texted, you will receive 4 automated messages before you are connected to a someone who will listen without judgement. This will usually be within 5 minutes but if the service is busy, it may take a little longer.

Your Shout Volunteer will introduce themselves and invite you to share a bit more about what’s on your mind. This might include feeling anxious, relationship problems, bullying, addiction, self-harm or suicide, and can be anything that is troubling you. The conversations tend to last around 45 to 60 minutes and work best when you text back and forth. The goal of the conversation is to help you reach a calm and safe place, with a plan of how to support yourself and your mental health going forward.







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