Campaign voice: accessible streets, employment and local campaigning
4 March 2016
Elise Crayton, a London Volunteer Campaign Coordinator, recently shared her experience of campaigning with us.
“I joined RNIB as a campaigns volunteer back in May.
I’ve been an MP for the Visually Impaired Parliament of Kingston for almost two years. The Parliament was set up by Thomas Pocklington Trust to represent Kingston’s visually impaired community. Anyone in the area with sight loss can put themselves forward to be an MP. There are 5 of us at the moment and we each represent an issue. I’m the MP for employment; we have other MPs on health, sport and leisure, transport and education. If we’re working on a big project, more than one of us gets involved.
At the moment we’re tackling a ‘mini Holland’ project in Kingston. The Council is proposing a cycle highway through central Kingston, introducing floating bus stops and removing parts of the pavement. I’ve attended the consultation meeting, arranged a public meeting of VI residents with the Council and wrote to local councillors and now our MP. We’re planning on meeting with the Project Coordinator again to take another look at the designs. The campaign has shown that campaigning involves a lot of drive from a group of people but it’s so worth it.
I’m obviously also interested in employment. I’ve lobbied my MP in Parliament with RNIB’s Envision network, I sit on an employment project in Kingston and am working with the local Chamber of Commerce to set up employment placements for local students with sight loss.
If you have an impairment, on a daily basis you’ll confront a range of issues that can be a bit annoying. I realised that having a moan doesn’t solve it; it just makes you feel rubbish.
So I decided to get involved in something that might slowly make a change and making that change might make a difference to day to day life.”