Board of Trustees

Chair

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke

Nigel is the Chair of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). In 2003 Nigel set up his own business, Learned Lion Partners, providing consultancy and investments into organisations delivering on public policy and healthcare related projects. In 2010 he founded SureCalm Healthcare Ltd, a business that provides care and support for people with long term conditions to enable them to live independently.

Nigel was previously Chair of the General Osteopathic Council, Chair of VISION 2020 UK and a member of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence

Trustee

Ian Humphreys
Ian Humphreys

Ian is the Chief Executive of the College of Optometrists, the professional and scientific body for optometry in the UK. Prior to taking this new role, he was the College’s Director of Member Services and Communications for six years and has worked within a range of other membership organisations including the Finance & Leasing Association, Country Land & Business Association and English Heritage.

Ian is a Governor of Bursted Wood Primary School, Director of a small residential management company.

Trustee

Jenny Pearce
Jenny Pearce

Jenny chairs the Vision UK Rehabilitation and Low Vision Committee which was responsible for developing the Adult UK Eye Health and Sight Loss Pathway. She is a Deputy Chairman of Thomas Pocklington Trust, a Governor of the RNIB College Loughborough, and a Trustee of Homefield College for people with Autism in Leicestershire.

Jenny is a highly qualified social worker who has many years’ experience in both health and social care. She held the position of Chief Executive of Vista before retiring from her role as in 2012.

Trustee

John Thompson
John Thompson

John is currently Chair of the Lay Advisory Panel and a Lay Trustee at the College of Optometrists. He is Chair of the Richmond Carers Centre and Co-Chair of the England Vision Strategy.

John was formerly a Senior Civil Servant, advising Ministers on policy and implementing their decisions, principally in the Department of Health but also elsewhere in Whitehall. He first had a role in developing policy on the General Ophthalmic Services in 1978 and later dealt with policies for visually impaired people, ophthalmology and the primary care professions.

Trustee

Michael Burdon
Michael Burdon

Michael Burdon, President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists is a consultant ophthalmologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. He is a recognised teacher and expert on neuro-ophthalmology, co-authoring “The Neuro-Ophthalmology Survival Guide” and has extensive experience in the diagnosis, surgical correction and management of adult motility disorders. His main research interests are papilloedema and idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Mike is committed to maintaining high standards in the ophthalmology profession, working with other organisations in the eye health sector to continue to deliver world-class eye care for all patients.’

Trustee

Mike Nussbaum
Mike Nussbaum

Dr Mike Nussbaum has been in the thick of social change and community development for nearly 50 years.

As a young activist he was involved in a wide range of social action programmes and by 18 was chairing national youth organisations, organising charitable fundraising events and leading youth summer schools.

His first career as a research chemist was cut short by failing eyesight, but Mike soon forged a second career in local government and public policy development. Mike worked with communities in some of the most challenging local authorities in the UK, initiating pioneering work in social inclusion and in urban regeneration and design. For three years, he led the government’s policy unit on Children’s Play.

Since retirement Mike has taken on various roles in the national voluntary sector but particularly in promoting and developing the role of volunteering. In 2003, he steered the merger of three national voluntary organisations to form a single national focus for volunteering and helped to establish national quality standards for volunteer centres and for volunteer management. He was instrumental in persuading the UK government of the need for ‘The Office of the Third Sector’ as a key function of the Cabinet Office.

Mike is involved with various charitable organisations both locally, nationally and more broadly, in the European context.  Amongst other posts that he holds Mike is currently Chair of Action for Blind People and a Board member of RNIB. He acts as Community Development Adviser to the Churches Conservation Trust). He regularly acts as Ambassador and conference presenter for the European Volunteer Centre (CEV) and has recently become a Board Member of the Small Charities Coalition.

Mike is currently chairing a Cross Sectors Working Group (known as the Expert Volunteers Initiative) which aims to recruit volunteers to assist the hardest to reach groups of the long-term unemployed to access employment opportunities which is very relevant to people with a visual impairment.

In 2005 Mike received a national ‘Year of the Volunteer’ Award for services to volunteering, and in 2008 The Open University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of over 40 years of public service.

Trustee

Graham Findlay
Graham Findlay

Graham is in his second spell of employment with North East Sensory Services NESS, (Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind, GSB).

After being diagnosed as Visually Impaired 28 years ago, with RP, aged 22, he changed career from working as a fabricator/welder to becoming employed by GSB as a Social Work Assistant. Later he qualified as a Social Worker and latterly employed as GSB’s first Senior Social Worker after gaining SVQ Management qualifications. He left GSB after 10 years to pursue a further senior post in the charity sector as Regional Manager for Turning Point Scotland (TPS). TPS work in a very different field of operation, supporting people who have Learning Difficulties, People who have Mental Health Issues, People who have problems with Addiction, People who are Homeless and People who have Huntington’s disease. In his 6 years at TPS the services that he managed and developed grew from a turnover of £500K to £3.2M.

Twelve years ago Graham returned to GSB as the Chief Executive.

He and his dedicated team have developed GSB into NESS, the first full joint sensory service in Scotland. NESS has service level agreements with 4 local authorities and also provides a wide range of charity funded added value services across 6 local authority areas. NESS supports over 6,500 people who have a significant sight and/or hearing loss and has grown from a turnover of £350K 10 years ago to £2.3M for 17/18. NESS has 59 employees.

In 2016 NESS achieved the Investors In People standard and the advanced Gold Standard, (had held Bronze for the previous 6 years). NESS were also recognised by IIP with the award of the International, Excellence in the 3rd Sector recognition.

Graham was Vice President for 2 years of the Scottish Council on Visual Impairment (SCOVI) and a further 2 years as President before the end of his term in November 2012. He recently resigned from the board of SCOVI and is now Chairman of Visionary. He is also a Trustee of the Scottish Council on Deafness (SCOD), and is a Lead for the Scottish Government’s See Hear (sensory impairment) Strategy.

Graham has been married to Tracy for 27 years and has 3 children, Matthew (23), Michael (21) and daughter Eilidh (18).

Trustee

Eleanor Southwood
Eleanor Southwood

Ellie Southwood is Chair of RNIB and has been a Trustee of RNIB since 2010. Over the past year, she has steered development of RNIB Connect, a growing community of blind and partially sighted people who support, inspire and share information with one another. Ellie is a champion for employment opportunities for people of working age and for involvement of blind and partially sighted people in civic and public life.

In 2014, Ellie was elected as a Councillor in the London Borough of Brent, where she now has cabinet responsibility for a range of services, including waste, parking, transportation and open spaces.

Ellie’s career spans the public, private and non-profit sectors. She specialises in supporting organisations to develop strategies and implement cultural and operational change. Ellie’s early career was in public policy and includes research and stakeholder management for a local government think tank, a communications company and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Ellie has a Masters in Organisational Behaviour (2013) and a first degree in Philosophy Politics and Economics from Oxford University (2003).

Trustee

Richard Wormald
Richard Wormald

Richard is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Head of Epidemiology at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London

With over three decades of clinical experience, Richard has contributed much to the understanding of the epidemiology of eye disease, having performed and advised upon systematic reviews, clinical trials and more. He has experience as a medical advisory trustee for two major international NGOs for the prevention of blindness – Sight Savers International and the Fred Hollows Foundation. A popular speaker, Wormald is also a prolific author, having written more than 120 research papers; Richard is also the Coordinating editor of the Cochrane eyes and vision group.