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Alison Oliver

Chief Executive Officer
Alison joined Visionary in August 2015. Before that she was the Interim Director of Resources at the Thomas Pocklington Trust where she also led a number of internal sight loss sector related projects. Before joining the Thomas Pocklington Trust, Alison combined her professional management roles with volunteering with a local charity where she worked directly with their client groups. This gave her experience of working with a range of disabilities. She also worked on a number of fundraising and operational strategy projects and was a Trustee for several years. She has also been a Trustee of two local sight loss charities: South East London Vision and Birmingham Vision. Alison, who is a qualified Chartered Accountant, worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a director in the Banking and Capital Markets team and then as Finance Director at a commercial property investment group before she joined the voluntary sector in 2014.
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Andy Haynes

Head of Income Development
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 is 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. Andy also works with members who would simply like to explore how they might go about engaging with local authorities, NHS trusts and others with a view to securing income in this way. Andy has a broad background of over 20 years in the charity and social economy sector. Andy 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. Andy 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. Andy 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. Andy 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 Andy 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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Michelle Baxter Wickham

Member Engagement Manager
Michelle started working with Visionary in March 2016 and she oversees the ongoing work of the Member Engagement team. Michelle 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 and volunteers. In her spare time, Michelle is a keen runner and sometime triathlete, and is also kept busy by her cats and chickens.
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Emma Cruickshank

Development & Innovation Manager
Emma joined Visionary as Development and Innovation Manager in 2016, having volunteered for Visionary for several years. Emma commenced volunteering for Visionary in 2012 leading on the Seeing it My Way Toolkit and also assisted with the Visionary Leadership and Annual Conferences, and represented Visionary at the Vision Conference in 2015. Prior to joining the team Emma worked for a local sight loss charity in Nottinghamshire as Support and Independent Living Team Manager and subsequently Services Manager. Emma started working in the sector in 2000, and qualified as a Rehabilitation Officer in 2002. Emma’s experience includes working in the voluntary, statutory and private sector, and she has also been a volunteer within the sector.
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Alexa Sage

Development & Innovation Manager
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. 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 run her own online businesses in ecommerce.
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Neera Chaudhary

Senior Member Engagement Co-ordinator
Neera is the Senior Member Engagement Co-ordinator within the Member Services team. Neera has worked within the sight loss sector for four years with RNIB where she started working on the Children and Families Bill Campaign. Neera continued working in various other departments and supported several projects. Neera says “I am passionate about supporting people with sight loss with a particular interest in employment for blind and partially sight people.” As the Senior Member Engagement Co-ordinator, Neera will be involved in organising the Annual Visionary Conference, and supporting members and her team to deliver excellent and expanding services. When she is not at work, Neera enjoys music, theatre, film and literature. “I especially like to spend my spare time taking pictures as I am a keen, all be it not very good photographer.”
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Russell Cable

Member Engagement Co-ordinator
Russell joined Visionary in January 2017. Prior to this, Russell worked for his local sight loss charity. Russell has been responsible for the development and implementation of a new CRM along with delivery of on the ground services including offering members advice and training on a wide range of technology, low vision aids and daily living aids. Russell is visually impaired, living with Stargardts. In his spare time, Russell can be found at the local bowling alley where he is a member of the National Blind Tenpin Bowling Association league.
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Jen Eathorne

Development & Innovation Co-ordinator
Jen started working with Visionary in March 2016 as a Development and Innovation Co-ordinator. Jen works with Alexa on Education, Employment and Volunteering; Fundraising and Corporate Relationships, Outcome and Impact Measurement; and Campaigning Co-ordination. Prior to this, Jen joined Thomas Pocklington Trust in October 2015 as a Volunteer Co-ordinator, responsible for Eye Unit Support Services across London, ensuring patients receive emotional and practical support at the point of diagnosis as well as being referred to local public and voluntary services. Jen previously studied Psychology at the University of Bath. Outside of work, Jen takes part in several different sports and is always looking for a new challenge to take on.
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Giulia Vitaletti

Development & Innovation Co-ordinator
Giulia joined the Development and Innovation team at Visionary in October 2016. Giulia previously worked within the Volunteering department at Thomas Pocklington Trust since March 2013. Giulia has a Masters in International Law and her experience includes working in Spain as a Volunteer Co-ordinator for European and International mobility programs. Outside of work Giulia enjoys travelling, reading, and she is a keen football fan.
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