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LONDON (GMT) 20/04/2014 - 09:32

London celebrities back special event for blind young Londoners

Monday 2 December, 2013

Olly Murs, Eliza Doolittle, Tim Campbell and Britain’s Got Talent band The Luminites added their support to the Capitals’ first ever youth event for blind young people living in London, hosted by the Royal London Society for Blind People.

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.”

Notes to editors
1. For further information please contact Ana Granger on 07789 069591 or Nancy Platts on 07789 069704
2. People quoted in the press release are available to interview and photograph on the day. We can also supply photographs after the event.
3. 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.
4. 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.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Royal London Society for Blind People, on Monday 2 December, 2013. For more information visit