A personal story of how Richard Hart our intern lost his sight

Hi it’s Richard again; I hope everyone is doing well!

I’m humbled that my entry is to be the first one on this new platform. Accessibility is crucial to Vision Impaired People and we moved from Blogger for that reason alone.

I’d like to provide you with an update of my time with the ever so delightful ELVis team. In addition, with the national eye health week fast approaching, I thought it appropriate to also tell you a little about my own story about how I lost my eye sight.

For most of my life I was actually fully sighted, I had the pleasure of taking on all kind of jobs. From deep sea fishing, hotel work, security to working for London underground as a guard and train driver. I did this for 26years of my life. I covered the prodigious central line, which obviously covers ELVis region, the Piccadilly line and the jubilee line. I was a busy man indeed, my work also stretched across the waterloo station and Canary Wharf and this is where I was retired on 14th February 2013.

My life was certainly different and I enjoyed the hardship of my work with the underground, I faced many challenges which I’m sure the underground staff deal with still on a daily basis.

In 2007 my sight started to deteriorate, I was sent to Newham Hospital and after some time I was told that my sight was likely to get worse, but that for the time being it would be stable. 3 years later, I was put on the register as severely impaired. Although on hearing this I was even more determined to fight and to understand my condition better. I have managed to live my life so far to the fullest and even along the way collected some amazing Vision Impaired  friendly Equipment.

On the 2nd of June 2015 I started work for East London Vision as an Intern for six months. It certainly has been an interesting time so far. I’ve had the pleasure of aiding my manager Laura Ross in attending local societies meetings to helping out with various events. Prior to the events I ring round ensuring the members are still available to attend events and meetings. It is sad to hear that Laura is moving on, but I’d like to wish her the best of luck with her new job.

With National Eye Health Week approaching, regardless of who you are I’d urge you to get an eye check. I believe Charities like ELVis are valuable to Vision impaired people living in East London. As with all charities, despite applying for a range of grants, commercial sponsorship and generating income through commissioned services, ELVis relies heavily on the generosity of individuals to enable us to deliver the wide range of services to improve the quality of life for blind and partially sighted people. Every penny raised goes directly towards improving the quality of lives of Vision Impaired people, so please donate today! So that we can continue to provide a high standard of service to blind and partially sighted people.

Have a wonderful week.

Richard Hart:)


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East London Vision (ELVis) is the subgroup for the 7 geographical areas that naturally cover all of east London north of the Thames: • Barking and Dagenham • City and Hackney • Havering • Newham • Redbridge • Tower Hamlets • Waltham Forest. ELVis is designed to provide an effective and efficient way of ensuring that vision impaired people living in East London get the support and services they need. It is an umbrella organisation with voluntary sector, user led representation in each of the east London boroughs. Our vision is that everyone living in East London experiencing, or at risk of, any form of sight loss, receives a high quality service relevant to their need and at a time appropriate for themselves. Our aim is to enhance & link vision impaired services and organisations throughout East London, improving the quality of life for blind and partially sighted people and increasing individual independence.

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