Bhavini’s Employment Journey

Can a blind or partially sighted person be employed? Can they have a desirable career?  Can they work in jobs they’re absolutely passionate about? The answer is yes to ALL!

As a severely sight impaired person, when I applied for the position of activities co-ordinator everything inside me lit up because I knew I was the right person for the role. The job combined both of my passions; supporting vision impaired people and organising events, activities and meetings to improve social inclusion for VI people. So when I received the phone call that I got the job, I literally cried. I was thrilled, proud and happy. Then it dawned on me- “Oh my god, I’ve got a job! How will I manage? I know I can do it, but how?”

I was told about a government scheme called Access to Work (ATW). The scheme assesses you in regards to the support you require to carry out your job. Once my support was in place I was able to settle into my new role. I was also eligible for a support worker for sighted assistance.

The ideal support worker should be able to empower you to carry out your role professionally. Instead of talking on your behalf, support workers should introduce you and take you to the person you need to speak to. Moreover, they must understand your role so they can relay information to you that may be essential for you to carry out your duties. In my case, when carrying out risk assessments for activities and outings, my support worker would highlight certain risk factors that I will ask them to look out for. And they would also inform me of possible hazards which I cannot physically see myself. Having the right support worker gives me the extra help I need to carry out my role to the best of my ability.

If you’re passionate about getting in to a specific career then don’t let your vision impairment hold you back. Support is out there to help you every step of the way. After being unemployed for 10 years, I thought I’d never work again, but the support from Thomas Pocklington’s Employment Service helped me to prepare for my interview.

To conclude, here at East London Vision over half the team are registered blind or have a visual impairment, and most of us have a support worker. Unfortunately, I recently had to say goodbye to Shivani, who was an excellent support worker. However, on the positive side, I’m on the hunt for someone new to work alongside myself and ELVis CEO Masuma Ali. To find out more about this role, please email Bhavini@eastlondonvision.org.uk

 

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Photo of Bhavini (right) with her support worker Shivani (left).
Written by Bhavini Makwana

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Christine’s Classic Carrot Cake Recipe

The weather has not been very nice of late; mainly windy and rain. The evenings are now drawing in, and what I like to do when I get home from work is snuggle up with a nice hot cup of tea and a delicious slice of cake.

One of my favourite slices is carrot cake, so I thought I would share with you the easy-to-follow recipe I use.

Carrot Cake

275g Self Raising Flour

300g Caster Sugar

2tsp Baking Powder

3tsp Ground Cinnamon

2tsp Ground Ginger

275g Carrots – grated

4 Eggs – beaten

1tsp Vanilla Extract

Icing

175g Cream Cheese

50g Butter

100g Icing Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

150ml Sunflower Oil

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, 160 C Fan or Gas Mark 4. Line 2 x 20 cm round cake tins with baking parchment.

2. Add in a bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground ginger. Then add the oil, grated carrots, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.

3. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake should be golden brown and firm to the touch.

4. To make the icing beat together all the ingredients until smooth. Divide between the 2 cakes and spread evenly.

5. Finally sandwich the cakes together.

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Photo of a delicious slice of carrot cake.

HAPPY BAKING!

Written by Christine Edmead