As some of you may know, I’m fairly new to East London Vision having only started in April this year. I can tell you that my job has changed my life for the better, as previously I was unemployed and job hunting for a considerable while. I held a belief that my vision impairment was a barrier to employment, so when I was given an opportunity to work at ELVis I became optimistic again about my future.
Truth-be-told, during my first month at ELVis, getting used to working part-time was challenging, but I quickly adapted, which does happen when you get into a regular routine. Moreover, working in a small, but amazing team I must say I feel very lucky. When you have characters like Christine Edmead (ELVis Administrator and Information Officer) in the office, the working day is never a boring one! She is “Mother Hen of ELVis” and always looking after the team. On one occasion, she brought delicious cupcakes to the team meeting which everyone enjoyed eating!
The best part of working for ELVis is the opportunity to go along to service user activities. My favourite activities this year were white water rafting and the kayaking sessions as I love to take part in water-based activities, and it’s great to get out of the office and do something physical once in a while. Furthermore, it’s fantastic to see the positive difference the activities make in the lives of those who participate in them. I promote the success of service user participation on the ELVIs social media channels, which help to raise awareness about the really great things ELVis does for vision impaired people in east London.
Additionally, working closely with the East London Local Society groups I’ve become acquainted with the service users and have learned about the challenges they have overcome and still face as a result of their sight loss. And I’ve been able to highlight their stories online, especially through the blog which receives very positive feedback from our blog readers.
What can I say? These past 9 months working at ELVis has been really fulfilling. I feel blessed to be working again. Now I wake up in the morning thinking I’ve got plenty of things to keep me busy, instead of wondering how to spend my day. It’s been rewarding to work for a charity because I know the work I am doing is helping to improve people’s lives, and as a vision impaired individual it feels great to be supporting my peers.
Lastly, before I go, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who’s supported East London Vision in 2017 and I wish you all a very successful and happy New Year!
Written by Ray Calamaan