11 December 2019
Source: Fight for Sight
Yesterday (10 December 2019), a star-studded line-up of Fight for Sight’s celebrity supporters comprising footballing legend, Michael Owen, took part in a global fundraising initiative known as the annual ICAP Charity Day. Fight for Sight was one of a host of charities chosen to participate and helps tackle the most globally prevalent cause of sight loss: age-related macular generation (AMD).
ICAP Charity Day, hosted by the world’s largest interdealer broker, TP ICAP, happens once a year and raises money for charities across the globe, with 100% of the revenues and commissions generated on one day donated to a variety of different causes. In Fight for Sight’s case, money raised will support ground-breaking research into preventing sight loss and treating eye disease.
Fight for Sight’s celebrity supporters, who all had personal reasons for supporting sight loss research, joined ICAP employees and celebrities of 26 other participating charities to speak directly to ICAP’s customers on the phones or through electronic platforms to close high value deals. The charity’s high-profile celebrity supporter line-up included former England football star Michael Owen; television presenter Jason Bradbury; former Sugababe Jade Ewen; and art dealer, Philip Mould OBE (also the charity’s patron).
Last year on the ICAP Charity Day, the company raised an impressive £4.5m across their global offices. The same year, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Suki Waterhouse, among others, joined ICAP to raise money for over 100 charities across the globe. Fight for Sight was delighted to have been selected as a charity partner to join this year.
Director of Fundraising at Fight for Sight, Ikram Dahman, said “We were thrilled to have been able to take part in the 27th annual ICAP Charity Day – it was an honour to be part of such a fun and long-standing global day of fundraising.
“Thanks to ICAP, this one day of fundraising will help to change the lives of countless people with age-related macular degeneration – the most prevalent cause of sight loss in the UK. At Fight for Sight we feel strongly that sight loss is not inevitable and ICAP recognises the impact they can have by supporting our revolutionary science that will be transformational for people with sight loss, both now and in the future.”
Michael Owen – whose son, James, has the eye condition Stargart disease which causes progressive loss of vision, said “I’m delighted to have supported Fight for Sight at ICAP Charity Day. It was great fun and I was pleased to complete three deals on the trading floor to raise money for the charity. My son, James, has been diagnosed with Stargardt disease, which means over time he’ll experience severe sight loss, which is why I’m supporting Fight for Sight and their research for new treatments. I want to help raise awareness that currently only one percent of grant funding is invested in eye research even though twenty per cent of people will experience severe sight loss in their lifetimes – this needs to change.”
Jade Ewen, whose father has the inherited eye condition retinitis pigmentosa, said “The condition my dad has is retinitis pigmentosa, which is hereditary – meaning there’s a possibility I will pass the gene onto my children. That’s why the pioneering research that Fight for Sight does to stop sight loss is so important. They’re helping to create a world everyone can see.”
Jason Bradbury, a believer in the power of research to make a difference to the lives of those living with sight loss, said: “ICAP Charity Day always looked great fun for a good cause and this year I was really pleased to have attended in support of Fight for Sight. One in five people in the UK currently live with sight loss and the numbers are set to double by 2050. Research is the only way to tackle this growing burden of sight loss with science on the cusp of so many breakthroughs.”
Philip Mould OBE, one of Fight for Sight’s patrons, said “I was delighted to attend ICAP Charity Day to support the wonderful Fight for Sight. I have been a patron for the charity for many years now because I know what vital work the charity does to research the next breakthrough and help prevent sight loss. Pioneering science is making the impossible achievable so that we can all have the ability to fully appreciate the beauty around us.”
Launching the ICAP global challenge fund
With ICAP’s support, Fight for Sight will launch the ICAP Global Challenge Fund to address one of the most prevalent causes of sight loss in the world: age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The Fund will be the first of its kind and aims to discover potential new treatments for this devastating eye disease, bringing hope and answers to millions of people worldwide.
Age-related macular degeneration is an extremely common cause of severe sight loss in adults and can develop very rapidly, sometimes in both eyes. The disease causes loss of central vision which often has a huge impact on daily life.
Currently, sight lost to AMD cannot be reversed. Sadly, the only treatment for some AMD patients are painful, routine injections directly into the eye which are not always effective at slowing progression of the disease.
The ICAP Global Challenge Fund will support an ambitious piece of work to understand the earlier stages of the disease and to help develop a ground-breaking intervention or pioneering treatment. Not only could the project potentially improve the prognosis for people affected, it can ultimately help us to prevent severe vision loss associated with the disease for adults worldwide.
Via a robust and open competitive process, Fight for Sight will invite the scientific research community to apply for funding to deliver on our aims, ensuring that we attract the most expert scientists who can support our ambitious goal. The award will be made to a highly motivated PhD student in ophthalmic and vision research who has passed an intensive two-stage peer-review process assessed on scientific merit and supporting evidence.
For more information about Fight for Sight’s work and how you can get involved, visit