After almost four years working for SELVis and then London Vision it is time to move on to the next chapter as I start a new job at Vocaleyes.

I have many happy memories working at Selvis working closely with members, volunteers and other organisations. As Activities Project Coordinator I have been lucky to visit many cultural attractions across London and take part in lots of activities. It’s hard to pick my favourite visit but some I have particularly enjoyed were our guided tour at Westminster Abbey, several visits to Houses of Parliament and the Orpington Roman Villa where I got to dress up in a toga!

I’ve also enjoyed discovering new parks in South East London, I hadn’t realised there are so many! My favourites were Sydenham Hill Woods and Peckham Rye Park. Our annual seaside outings by minibus to the South Coast were always fun, seeing members having a great time and even the guide dogs getting some freedom on the beach and in the sea too!

Image shows Jess Beal stood in a conservatory with a tree behind her. Her right hand is holding her cane and her left hand is raised stroking the leaves of the tree.
A special moment for me was running the half marathon to raise money for SELVis. I am still amazed by everyone’s generous donations and the support of people who came to cheer me on. It made all the months of training well worth it! I’m also proud that I overcame my fears on the climbing wall and by the end of the sessions was just about able to enjoy the abseil down! Overall there have been so many shared experiences, members and staff learning and helping each other, kindly supported by volunteers and personal assistants. I will remember the continued smiles and laughter for a long time to come!

So as well as having a lot of fun and some amazing experiences (too many to mention all here) it’s time for a new start. I’m looking forward to working at Vocaleyes as Marketing and Audience Manager. As a passionate supporter of the arts and access for blind and partially sighted people I can’t wait to get started with promoting all the events they have to offer. I’ve made some great contacts in London from my work at Selvis and London Vision which will greatly help in this role. I’m also looking forward to discovering new venues across the UK and working with new theatres, Museums and heritage sites to increase their access and audio description.

I hope to see you at future Vocaleyes or sight loss sector events. Ending with a song and a dance… So long, farewell!