Celebrating local societies – Chris

Normally January can be boring and seem like a very long month, depending on what type of Christmas and New Year you have had.

All I can say is this January went off with a bang. East London Vision hosted a Local Society Celebration Event,  where ELVis attended. I grant you not the real one that would be something, but the one and only Chinese ELVis.

There was an Awards Ceremony, speeches and cutting of a huge cake. Socialising and finger buffet followed by dancing with ELVis.  Everyone who attended enjoyed themselves it was a great way to start the New Year.

Peer Support Groups play such an important role they help people from feeling isolated, allows people to meet up and have a chat, make friends, build up peoples confidences in all sorts of ways. Help to make vision impaired people be and become more independent.




Masuma talk’s about the successful Local Society Celebration event

Hello to our lovely readers. Belated happy new year. This week I’m going to tell you all about our local society celebration event.

And so, after months of planning, the East London Vision Local Societies Celebration Event finally arrived at the splendid venue of The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. And with over 60 guests, a performance from Chinese Elvis and an awards ceremony to rival the Oscars, how could it have been anything other than a great success?

Gallagher and ELVis team before event started.jpg

With the support of East London Business Alliance (ELBA) we were fortunate to have an excellent team of corporate volunteers from Arthur J. Gallagher to assist us on the day. Having provided the Gallagher team with a crash course in sighted guiding it was time to throw them in to the deep end to put it in to practice before they had an opportunity to change their mind!

Gallagher volunteer trying sim specs

Emily Franklin, Project Manager from ELBA said: “It was fantastic to work with ELVis for their event! It’s a pleasure to work with a community partner who are so warm and welcoming. The training was brilliant and very insightful while still being fun, I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Masuma Ali, ELVis’s Operations Manager added: “it is always a pleasure to be able to work with corporate organisations for events that we hold, as not only does it provide us with hands on practical support for the day, but it allows us to ensure that there are enough volunteers to be able to assist vision impaired people attending, as well as break down barriers and myths around vision impairment to people in a positive way. Huge thanks to ELBA and Gallagher for their support!”

With the introduction speeches out of the way, we got straight down to the important business of food and cake. A sumptuous buffet was provided with sandwiches, spring rolls and samosas, our guests were also treated to a slice of our massive cake, which was decorated with a map of East London and was labelled with the names of each of our local societies.  Steve Garbutt, our trustee had the honour and challenging task of cutting the cake.

Steve Garbutt Cutting ELVis cake.jpg

Gallagher interacting with a member

It was wonderful to have representatives from all seven of our boroughs at the event, and following the food we were able to applaud each of the societies in turn, highlighting their past achievements and sharing their hopes for the future. Each society was also given a very snazzy award as a tangible reminder of our appreciation.

Sharon giving award to Neil

With the awards ceremony completed, it was time to put on our blue suede shoes and get all shook up as we had our own very special performance from Chinese Elvis! By the end of the hour we were all up and dancing, singing along to ‘Viva Las Vegas’ and having a whale of a time!

Elvis Singing.jpg

Nicola Stokes, ELVis’s Service Development and Delivery Officer said: “It was fantastic to see people from all over East London getting together and sharing in each other’s successes, and the event itself went brilliantly, with the whole ELVis team and everybody else who was involved working together to pull off a fun and memorable evening.”

The event was also a great opportunity to remind people to support our 2016 London Marathon runner by texting EAST10 and the amount you wish to donate in pounds to 70070.


Wrap up and stay warm. Catch you all in a few weeks 🙂




A Special New Year’s Message From Our CEO Roger Clifton

The advantage of writing the first Blog of the year is that I can still wish all readers a very happy, healthy and successful 2016 before it becomes fashionably too late to do so.


I was amazed over the festive period how anyone who’s anyone, and a good number of people who aren’t, published Christmas or new year messages, and indeed some of them even did both! So I thought I’d get in on the act and give you my simple new year’s message which is “let’s get on with it”.


I know that’s a sentiment that few would disagree with, so I got to thinking, what’s the reason we don’t do it as often as we should. And my totally unscientific conclusion is that we all hide behind the “I haven’t had time” excuse. But when you think about it, that’s not true. All of us, no matter who we are and what position we hold, have exactly the same amount of time available to us: 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, etc. Of course we all have different commitments, but often when we say “I haven’t had time”, we actually mean that we have had time, but have prioritised other things above it.


So, from a work perspective, what can we do about this and how can we create more time? Here are just 2 personal thoughts about changes to our working practices to show how this can be done. I’d like to give you more, but our Blog master, he who must be obeyed, has set a 450 word limit on our submissions!!


  1. Meetings. It amazes me that, with the variety of modern technology available, we still hold far too many face-to-face meetings and that these are often too long and not overly effective. I once worked with someone, admittedly he was in a senior position, who would leave a meeting if it hadn’t started within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. His argument was that it was disrespectful of people’s time to allow this. It’s a stance I admire, but have never quite had the nerve to copy!
  2. Communication. How often to we send stuff to others that don’t really need it or receive information that is irrelevant to us (yet still read it, operating with the view that we must know everything, rather than on a need to know basis? Also, how often do we postpone responding to a communication, meaning that the sender has to chase it up and unnecessarily waste more of their time?


So, in 2016, let’s commit to managing meetings and communications more effectively, stop saying: “I haven’t had time” and let’s get on with it!:)