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 🙂




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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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