London celebrities offer their support to RLSB’s Future Exchange

In January 2017, RSBC merged with the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB). Although we are now called RSBC, there may be some references to RLSB in the following article.

The Future Exchange, which took place in Central London on Saturday, offered a unique opportunity for blind young people to discuss key issues they continue to face including unemployment, problems on public transport and the portrayal of disabled people in the media.

Panellists at the conference who listened and offered solutions to these problems, included Judo Paralympian Ben Quilter and Tim Campbell, the first winner of Lord Alan Sugar’s The Apprentice, as well as representatives from Transport for London, Goldman Sachs, Blind in Business and the entertainment industry.​​​​​​​

Singer Eliza Doolittle encouraged the guests to take the opportunity to get their voice heard as “not only can you make a change to your own life but you’ll also be helping the next generation.”

University graduate Amy Hawkins, 19 from Upminster, took her chance to tell the panellists of her experience of trying to get a work placement in a charity shop. “I was told I was a health and safety risk and might trip over something. The woman also said that I might not be able to put jumpers on hangers properly. I just want someone to take me seriously.”

Nine out of 10 people who lose their sight in their youth will never work more than six months in their lives and this is a statistic that RLSB is determined to change.

Within London and the South East, there are 7,000 children and young people under 25 years of age who are blind or partially sighted.

The Luminites rounded off a day of workshops and debate with an intimate and exclusive acoustic set including their new song ‘Do Something’.

Joy Addo, 19 from Roehampton said of the event: “This is the first time I really feel I’ve been listened to. Only by coming together like this can we get our message heard – don’t underestimate us. Give us a chance to show you what we can do.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

For further information please contact Mel Vessey on 020 3198 0225 or mel.vessey@rsbc.org.uk

RLSB exists to empower blind and partially sighted young people to live life without limits. Through an expert blend of education, sports, creative and developmental services, we help the people we work with live and learn for the life they want.

RLSB works with blind young people in communities across London, Sussex and Kent, offering community services ranging from Parents as experts workshops, a nursery in Kent; pan London sport groups and social and peer groups. They also offer Access Tech, Employability training and a Further Education College in Bromley.

December 4, 2013

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