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About Visionary

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Meet The Team

Alison Oliver, CEO

Chief Executive - Alison Oliver

Alison replaced Angela Tinker as Visionary's CEO on 3rd August 2015.

A bit about Alison:

Alison was most recently the Interim Director of Resources at Thomas Pocklington Trust where she was not only responsible for overseeing Finance, HR, Property and other operational activities but also delivered a number of internal sight loss sector related projects including an Accessibility project and the establishment of a Visually Impaired Intern Programme.

Before joining Thomas Pocklington Trust, Alison combined her professional management roles with volunteering with a local charity, the River Thames Boat Project, where she worked directly with their client groups which gave her experience of working with a range of disabilities. She also worked on a number of fundraising and operational strategy projects and was appointed as a trustee in 2013. She has also been a trustee of two local sight loss societies: South East London Vision and Birmingham Vision.

Alison, who is a qualified Chartered Accountant, worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in both Audit and Risk Management. As a director in the Banking and Capital markets team there she led a number of restructuring and issue resolution projects and was part of the management team responsible for delivering the successful Lehman Brothers administration. She also performed an internal leadership role and sat on the Community Affairs Group. In 2011 she moved into the commercial sector, taking on the role of Finance Director at a commercial property investment group, before joining the voluntary sector in 2014. Her move into the voluntary sector is a reflection of her belief that all individuals have the right to actively participate in a world which is accessible to all.


Member Services Team

Head of Member Services - Matt Carr

Matt started working at Visionary in late 2016.



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Member Engagement Manager - Michelle Baxter Wickham

Michelle started working with Visionary in March 2016. She will be overseeing the ongoing work of the Member Engagement team. 

A bit about Michelle: 

Michelle has  joined Visionary from Thomas Pocklington Trust, where she  developed existing and new volunteer-led pilot initiatives for people with sight loss, including Link Up (empowering people to access social and leisure activities and events); a Visual Impairment Parliament (enabling people to have a voice within their community and influence service commissioners and providers); and Eye Unit Support services with Kingston Hospital, Queen’s Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital (ensuring that patients receive emotional and practical support at the point of diagnosis and/or treatment).  Also, whilst deputising for the Head of Volunteering and Social Inclusion, Michelle had overall responsibility for the entire volunteering function, as well as resource centres in London and the Midlands.  These services reach hundreds of blind and partially sighted people, as both users of the services  volunteers.    

In her spare time, Michelle is a keen runner and sometime triathlete, and is also kept busy by her cats and chickens.



Member Engagement Co-ordinator - Russell Cable

Russell joined Visionary in January 2017 and moved across to the Member Engagement Team in May 2017.


Development and Innovation Manager - Emma Cruickshank

Emma joined Visionary in September 2016. 



Development and Innovation Co-ordinator - Giulia Vitaletti 

Giulia joined Visionary in October 2016. 



Income Development Team

Head of Income Development - Andy Haynes

Andy joined Visionary in September 2016. Public sector funding cuts means many services or traditional sources of funding are either being simply cut or they are redesigned and then tendered out for organisations to then competitively bid for. Andy's role will be to work with Visionary members to help them successfully secure and manage such funds. Andy works with members who are currently tendering/bidding/delivering contracted or commissioned services and provides them with advice and support. He also works with members who would simply like to simply explore how they might go about  engaging with local authorities, NHS trusts and others with a view to securing income in this way.

A bit about Andy:

Andy has a broad background of over 20 years in the charity and social economy sector. He has delivered front line services and managed a range of delivery teams, as well as holding senior positions in local, regional and national charities. Andy has specialised in leading charities and social businesses fundraising and income development activities and has helped organisations successfully bid and secure large value contracts and financial investments. He has project managed major grant funding programmes on behalf of local and national government and has also helped local authorities, NHS trusts, adult and social care departments redesign how they commission and deliver community based services.

He has also worked with smaller organisations and helped them grow and position themselves to secure their first grant or contract. This has then involved helping them ensure that they deliver it successfully and can grow not just their organisation, but importantly grow the impact they want to have for the people and community they are wanting to serve.

Before joining Visionary Andy was Midlands and Wales Director for Premier - the UK's largest Christian multi-media organisation where he established a new regional centre of activity and grew income and investment significantly. He has also worked for UnLtd leading upon social enterprise development, for a large social landlord managing a £9m regeneration fund and for Groundwork managing employment and training programmes with local and national government. Andy has also successfully run his own consultancy business, supporting social enterprises and voluntary sector organisations to secure over £5m of contracts, commissions and grants.

Outside of work Andy is heavily involved in his local Methodist Church where he regularly preaches and leads services. However when not in church he can be found racing motorcycle sidecars as the passenger on race circuits in the UK and also on the roads of the Isle of Man. 



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Development and Innovation Manager - Alexa Sage

Alexa started working with Visionary in March 2016. Alexa is responsible for managing our support services in: Education, Employment and Volunteering; Fundraising and Corporate Relationships; Outcome and Impact Measurement; and Campaigning Co-ordination.  

A bit about Alexa:

Alexa joined Thomas Pocklington Trust in May 2015 as a Development & Innovation Manager, primarily responsible for overseeing the design and delivery of the employment programme, leading the employment team and developing relationships with corporate partners. The London-wide programme has supported people with sight loss to find paid employment and to retain work through sight loss.

As a qualified trainer and project manager, most of Alexa’s career has been in supporting the charity sector to develop its frontline services, usually through service design, income generation and monitoring and evaluation. Alexa has also had a successful career as a French style accordionist and has also run her own online businesses in ecommerce.

Development and Innovation Co-ordinator - Jen Eathorne

Jen joined Visionary in March 2016. 

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