Hello. My name is Hazel Hyland. I am the Head of Administration for The VIP Lounge. I joined the team in September 2015 after my work with campaigning became known to the CEO. I also have other roles within the group.

Hazel on her Graduation Day
Hazel on her Graduation Day

These are; Joint Treasurer; Acting Manager of The VIP Lounge Stateside radio station, part of The VIP Lounge Radio Group; Events manager; and radio presenter.

I was born blind in September 1977 in Hanover, Germany. I was registered blind at the age of 4 months after my entry into the UK. I was in and out of hospital until the age of 5 with a variety of operations. My main eye condition is Glaucoma, however, I have many related conditions.

My school years started at the Church of England school in Devon until the age of 7. I then attended Dorton House in Seven Oaks for three years. My family moved to the North East of England in 1987 and at the age of 10, I attended a mainstream school with ARC provision. I completed middle school and high school in mainstream. After leaving school at 18, I undertook a number of training courses in Business Administration and information technology. After taking a break to start a family, I returned to work in transcription before spending 6 years working in the Financial Service sector.

In 2010, I returned to education. Since then, I have been awarded a first-class BA Hons degree in Social Care and completed a PGCE Maths and Numeracy teaching qualification. My experience of teaching is teaching adults with visual impairments. I am also qualified with a basic teaching qualification enabling me to teach any subject, including IT.

The VIP Lounge has given me the confidence to approach organisations to resolve issues for others. I have supported members with access problems, e.g. access to shops; writing letters to MPs and Social Service departments; and provide news and information on campaigns, including the work the Lounge is doing.