Monday, 24 August 2015

ELVis's Operations Manager Masuma Ali discusses the importance of corporate partnerships

Hello you lovely people, it is time to check in with you again with my third blog entry. Six weeks still go by far too fast, I thought I’d have got used to it by now. Some will tell me it is called getting old, but I say time flies when you are having fun!! Sounds a whole lot better wouldn’t you say? 

This week I want to tell you about the importance of corporate partnerships, and our recent work with Lloyds Banking Group (LBG). 

The time finally arrived, and the much anticipated Sight Information Day took place on Thursday 23 July at the Epicentre in Leytonstone. The day was a huge success and attended by over 50 members of the public, 10 exhibitors, Thomas Pocklington Trust staff and staff from Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) who volunteered for us on the day. 

Through the auction, selling of refreshments and exhibitor fees we raised £786.76, which will be match funded by Lloyds Banking Group up to £500 giving us a grand total of £1286.86. This will allow us to continue to support blind and partially sighted people across East London. Thank you to LBG for the opportunity of match funding us! 

I feel the day was a great success and judging by the feedback everyone who attended thought so too, with one member of the public saying: “I live in East London, but didn’t know about ELVis and the services it offers until today, so I’m glad I came along”. Hearing statements such as this is extremely frustrating, yet great all at the same time, because it clearly highlights the importance of events of this nature. There are 9,015 registered blind and partially sighted people in east London and reaching them is a challenge, but one I hope we can try and overcome by holding, or attending events to promote the work of ELVis. 

As part of the Sight Information Day we were fortunate to have the opportunity to partner up with LBG for their “Make a Difference” day. This proved to be an extremely beneficial partnership not only for ELVis, but I believe, equally a worthwhile and rewarding day for the Supplier Management team at LBG who gave up their time to volunteer for us. 

In advance of LBG volunteering for us, Hassan Khan and I spent some time with them in the afternoon on Wednesday 22 July to provide some vision impairment awareness covering terminology, sighted guiding and common eye conditions with the use of simulation spectacles. Tracey Walsh from LBG said: “The simulation with the glasses on Wednesday gave a sense of what real life is possibly like with this type of disability. My respect for active vision impaired individuals in the community went up considerably & this experience made me think about how lucky we are & what we take for granted". 

I found it highly valuable meeting the LBG team in advance, as it strengthened and built on the rapport already created with Kelly Moizer-Peace via email, making for an effective working partnership on the day. As well as allowing Hassan and I to meet the rest of the team, it provided an opportunity for the LBG staff to feel comfortable, prepare for the volunteering day and ask any questions. It was fantastic to see their willingness to learn, their eagerness to take on a new challenge and throw themselves in. 

I believe that the corporate affiliation with LBG made for an excellent opportunity for us, as ELVis to demonstrate the abilities of blind and partially sighted people in an actual professional working environment. I believe partnerships such as these are important and invaluable as they help in breaking down barriers and allow vision impaired people to be seen in a positive light as independent individuals who can, and do wish to contribute to society. 

Kelly Moizer-Peace from LBG said: “My team were absolutely buzzing when we left on Thursday, the nerves we had on Wednesday are long gone. Thanks for being so warm and welcoming to us; it was our Day to Make a Difference but I believe its you that has made a difference to us." A huge thank you to the team at LBG for their time, enthusiasm and willingness to assist from me and Team ELVis!! We look forward to working with you again in the future. 

If you, or your organisation would like to know more about partnership working with us, or learn more about the work of ELVis, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 020 3697 6464, or via email at 

Have an excellent few weeks, until next time! 

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