Vi Talk

THE VIP LOUNGE WITHDRAW ITS UNTIL NOW UNWAVERING SUPPORT FROM VI TALK.

MARK JONES, HEAD OF THE INFORMATION STATION CONTACTED JO FISHWICK AT VI TALK OFFERING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO BROADCAST THEIT PODCAST SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK ON THE STATION, IN ORDER TO BRING THEIR INFORMATION TO A MUCH LARGER AUDIENCE, WHICH IN TURN WOULD PROMOTE VI TALK AND THE WORK THAT THEY DO. MARKS OFFER WAS DECLINED AND THE REASON GIVEN WAS THAT VI TALK TRUSTEES DID NOT WANT TO WORK WITH ME.

Now I have no problem regarding people not wanting to work with me, but I do have a problem when a charity pro-porting to work on behalf of VIPs puts their personal opinion ahead of their service users or members.

It would seem that their trustees do not wish to work with either me or THE VIP LOUNGE.

TO JOFISHWICK at VI Talk.

Hello Jo, long time no speak.

I saw the message that Mark Jones sent to you and also your reply to him.

You know I believed VI TALK to be a charity that was supposed to work for the good of all Visually Impaired People, but it would seem that I was wrong.

From your reply to Mark, all I can conclude is that the personal views and feelings of VI TALK TRUSTEES, come before the needs of VI TALK members.

You know that THE VIP LOUNGE now works with every local authority in the United Kingdom helping people with sight loss.

This is also true of health trusts, the Police, in fact, all public sector bodies who offer services to these people.

Most local charities offering services to people with a visual impairment around the U.K. also work with us.

We are a major exhibitor at events such as Sight Village etc.

Some of our members bowl in leagues run by British Blind Sports.

THE RNIB recognise THE VIP LOUNGE and recently have asked us to take over the lead in various campaigns that they were running on behalf of VIPs.

Many of our members are employed by Guide Dogs and as such support the work being done 24 hours a day, 7 days every week by THE VIP LOUNGE.

THE VIP LOUNGE has lead proceedings against Taxi Drivers and Businesses, regarding the denial of access to assistance dogs, winning on behalf of VIPs in every case.

REGARDING OUR RADIO STATIONS, THE VIP LOUNGE has through contact with people via the radio stations helped more people to grow in confidence to a point where they now speak out for themselves, move from being sheltered by families, into their own homes and ultimately into some sort of employment or training than any other organisation supporting those with sight loss, including VI TALK.

I can back up every statement I have made above and indeed can go on to tell you that THE VIP LOUNGE still puts safeguarding at the centre of what we do. In the past 12 months, we have involved police in 27 separate situations where mental health or physical and even sexual abuse were suspected. In all of these matters, the police and or local authorities took action, which has resulted in 15 convictions and 3 further individuals are on bail awaiting trial.

Indeed just this week, THE VIP LOUNGE was contacted by the police who asked for help, regarding the recent murder of Jill Grant. Indeed, police who spoke with us gave us details surrounding the circumstances of Jill’s death, even prior to releasing details to her family and friends, such is their level of trust in our organisation.

But while I take pride in all of the above, there are 3 things I’m most proud of.

1. That THE VIP LOUNGE has still not taken a penny of anybody’s money to run its services. No grants have been applied for and neither has any sponsorship been obtained.

2. That nobody at THE VIP LOUNGE receives any type of gain either monetary or otherwise for the work that they do.

3. That THE LOUNGERS here do what they do not for recognition, but because they care and they really do make a difference.

Now regarding Trustees of VI Talk not wanting to promote THE VIP LOUNGE because of me, I can tell you that I find this a tad hypocritical, especially considering the fact that one of VI TALK’s Trustees was involved in an affair with a married man, who has a recent conviction for viewing child porn.

So you see, I do not believe that any member of Vi Talk is in a position to take the moral high ground regarding working with THE VIP LOUNGE, especially given the type of person it continues to allow as a trustee.

Now back to the main point. THE VIP LOUNGE is willing to give every Visually Impaired Person support in any way, should they ask for it. We will work with and often do, any organisation to give a service of the highest standard to our users, offering “best practice” each and every time.

So now I ask for an explanation as to why VI TALK Trustees feel that they can’t support THE VIP LOUNGE in the essential work that it does on behalf of VIPs.

If we are good enough for THE RNIB to work in partnership with us, especially considering my outspoken criticism of it, how come VI TALK can consider itself so high and mighty.

By the way, I personally and THE VIP LOUNGE as an organisation have always been unwavering in our support for VI TALK and the work that does. There is not a person in the world who could tell you otherwise.

But unfortunately, due to your reply to Mark and its contents, I can no longer believe that VI TALK puts its service users first. With this in mind, I will be stating my new position publicly.

With Respect,
IAN.