ELVis 5th Birthday Celebration

Last month, ELVis members and colleagues came together to celebrate the 5th anniversary of ELVis.

It was my task to organise the 5th birthday party and I wanted to ensure that our members would have an enjoyable time coming together.  Being a 5th celebration, I took that literally – as if it was a 5- year-old’s birthday party – with entertainment such as Pass the Parcel (with forfeits), Pin the mic on Elvis Priestly and a quiz with prizes to be won.  Fish and Chips only seemed right (as it was a Friday), and we had a delicious, mouth-watering cake, with snacks to keep everyone happy.

It was wonderful to see our members from all over East London, some who have developed the confidence to travel to our office using public transport independently or connecting with other members to travel together.

As the celebrations continued, members talked amongst themselves sharing recent events they had attended and useful information that they picked up at meetings.  Impressively, all the members willingly took part in the forfeits in the games, such as singing Elvis Priestley songs, dancing to the Macarena, doing impressions of celebrities and acting out scenes from TV and film.

Once the entertainment finished, ELVis CEO, Masuma Ali, gave a fantastic speech which highlighted ELVis’s achievements over the years and thanked all our members.  It was humbling to receive comments from our members: “I joined ELVis early this year and it has been a life saver – I don’t feel isolated and it has given me the confidence in being more active supporting my local group.” said Tolga from Hackney.  Glen from Newham shared that since moving to London, “It has helped me connect with others and enhance my social life, and I have enjoyed coming out on ELVis outings.”  Esther from Dagenham said, “I am so glad I came today.  I came all by myself by train and had a lovely time with everyone.  ELVis have supported me so much.”

As the Activities Coordinator for ELVis, I am so proud to witness our achievements and successes, and how our members have gone from strength to strength developing in personality, skills set and confidence.  Overall, it was an enjoyable and entertaining afternoon. Thank you to my colleagues and volunteers for assisting on the day.

As some of you may know (or may not), ELVis will soon become London Vision East and you may see our new name popping up here and there over the next few months.

I look forward to working with London Vision East and developing our services and continue to support those affected with sight loss, those just diagnosed, and those who need to access support a little later on in their life.

Photo of Bhavini, Masuma and Cathy from London Vision cutting the ELVis birthday cake.

Written by Bhavini Makwana. ELVis Activities Coordinator

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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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