Chief Executive Officer:
Sue O’Hara worked in the commercial management sector for many years before joining BlindAid, having worked predominantly in Global Corporate Relocation as a senior policy and group move director for clients of FTSE 100 organisations in the private, public & third sectors. Additional experience also includes advertising and public affairs; as well as working as a voluntary bereavement counsellor for a number of years.
Andrew Blessley is Chief Executive of The Clothworkers’ Company, one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London and Secretary to The Clothworkers’ Foundation. The Foundation is a responsive grant-maker which distributes some £5-6m per annum to a wide range of causes. Before joining the Clothworkers in 2001, he was Director of Retail Banking at NatWest, having had a varied banking career in the UK and USA over a thirty year period. He is a Trustee of the Prostate Cancer Charity and an adviser to a prostate cancer clinic. He was appointed a council member of the Charity in 2001.
John Bryce joined the Inland Revenue after leaving university in 1961 and spent his career advising Treasury Ministers on a wide range of policy issues affecting direct taxation. Since retiring from the Civil Service in 1999, he has been a trustee of the North London Hospice. He was appointed a council member of the Charity in 2000, served as Vice Chairman since 2003 and was elected Chairman in 2010.
Keith Felton graduated from Durham University in 1979 and subsequently qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse in London. He has worked in the financial services sector since 1985 and was previously head of finance and operations at Fleming Family & Partners (asset management, trustee and advisory services). He is currently Director of Corporate Service for Crisis UK. He has been Honorary Treasurer of the Charity since 1997.
Charles Goodall studied law at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge and qualified as a solicitor in 1975. He was an assistant solicitor with Slaughter and May before joining Simmons & Simmons in 1982 and subsequently became a partner specialising in capital markets and banking. He retired in 2005 and was appointed a council member of the Charity in that year. He was elected Vice Chairman in 2010.
Peter Holland is the Chief Executive of The Disability Partnership incorporating His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ Advisory Group on Disability. He has previously held senior executive positions with Royal Mencap, Barnardos and Action for Blind People. He has chaired the Hoteliers’ Forum initiative on behalf of His Royal Highness for 15 years. He developed a Leadership and Mentoring Programme for disabled employees in the British civil service, successfully managing its return to an in-house service with The Cabinet Office in 2007. He holds Directorships with the Snowdon Award Scheme and Diverse Business Solutions. For over 10 years he has managed the overall development of MOVE Europe, a charity working with severely disabled children and adults to increase their mobility and independence. He was elected onto the MOVE International Foundation Board in 2002. He lectures and provides consultancy on diversity and inclusion and is an acknowledged expert on organizational and management structures, particularly with specialist agencies, in the not-for-profit sector. He was appointed a council member of the Charity in 1988.
Douglas Osborne joined Action for Blind People in1963 and served as Chief Executive between 1979 and 1983. Between 1983 and 2007 he was Deputy Chief Executive and, subsequently, Chief Executive of Leukemia Research Fund. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) and a Joint editor ICSA “The Charities Manual”. He was appointed a council member of the Charity in 1979.
Valerie Scarr qualified as an Optometrist and was made a Member of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and a Freeman of the City of London. She worked in eye departments of hospitals in Yeovil, New Zealand, Exeter, and Moorfields, London. In 1979 she set up the ‘Visual Handicap Advisory Service’ for the Disabled Living Foundation, producing training packages for physiotherapists, nurses and mobility officers and a comprehensive teaching package on low vision aids (The Flying Suitcase). Subsequently, she worked for Guide Dogs for the Blind, lecturing trainee rehabilitation officers and dog trainers. At the same time, she was seconded to the Partially Sighted Society to provide advice and low vision assessments. She was appointed a council member of the Charity in 1995.
Fran Hibbert has been the Chief Officer of MertonVision for 13 yrs. During her tenure she has increased services for people with a visual impairment locally and has strengthened the charity and relationships with social services, councillors, MP’s and local and national voluntary organisations. She has negotiated contracts with social services and the health sector, and had significant successful applications for funding to national funders. Fran feels strongly that Local societies are unique in what they offer individuals with a visual impairment. The value of local support and peer support is often crucial to those newly diagnosed with enduring sight loss. Our job is to support and empower people whilst coming to terms with their sight loss, and to continue this support as long as it is needed
- Trustee of the Greater London Fund for the Blind
- Trustee of Wireless for the Blind Fund
- Trustee of Visionary (vice chair)
- Member of Vision2020 macular group
- Governor of two grant maintained primary schools (currently chair of one)
Fran has a Post grad certificate from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators; Charity management
Katherine Cox graduated from the University of Manchester (UMIST) in 2001 and qualified as a Chartered Financial Analyst in 2005. Katherine has worked for the asset manager Schroders since 2001, including a four year secondment to their New York office. At Schroders Katherine has held roles in Business Development, Product Management and since 2009 has been a Client Director acting as the relationship manager for clients in the UK corporate pension and charity sectors.