Meet Philippa-our First Step Advisor

Ever wondered what our team get up to? Well here is your chance to learn more. In this blog we catch up with Philippa, who is part of our First Step Team

Headshot picture of Philippa


My name is Philippa and I work as part of the First Step Information, Advice and Guidance team, you may hear us call it “First Step IAG”.

I am based at our Washbrook House office in Old Trafford and I have been working for Henshaws for nearly 3 years, prior to that I was a volunteer at the charity for about 4 years.

My Typical Day

A typical day involves answering incoming enquiries by telephone and email. We receive enquiries from visually impaired people, their friends/family and other professionals.

We work closely with other internal and external teams and I regularly attend other teams’ meetings to ensure we are working well together. These close working relationships enable efficient referrals and ongoing service.

I spoke to a service user who had recently been diagnosed with Age-related Macular Degeneration.

During the initial conversation, I established that she was struggling with daily living tasks and had lost confidence getting out independently. This led to a referral to her local sensory team for daily living skills and mobility assessments and a referral to her local Enablement Officer for a personal plan.

The lady was also having difficulty using her mobile phone, so I arranged a referral to our Digital Enablement Team. The lady was also concerned about her ongoing treatment, so I completed a referral to our Patient Support service for further support and advice.

I provided emotional reassurance during the conversation and referred the lady to our Counselling service for further emotional support.

Philippa smiling whilst on the telephone

I really enjoy working at Henshaws, offering people with sight loss advice and support. Just being there to listen is a huge part of my job.

Another part of my role is to complete surveys to help us improve our service provision and keep providing the information and advice people need and want. These surveys are one of many ways that Henshaws listens to people with sight loss; it keeps us on track.

We also conduct surveys about our Patient Support service and post-questionnaires after people have accessed our Pathway to Wellbeing services. These surveys help us measure the impact our services have for people living with sight loss.

These are just a few of my day-to-day tasks, but as a member of the First Step team, I’m here ready to help. So, if you’re not sure what’s next, who you could ask for support or what we could help you with, why not give Henshaws a call on 0300 222 5555.

Alternatively, you can email us at

Find out more about our First Step service

We can't do it without you

Henshaws rely on voluntary donations; our work just wouldn’t be possible without people like you. Your support empowers local people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to increase their independence, achieve their dreams, and go beyond expectations.

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