Day 2 Panel Discussion

At the start of Day 2, with help from the audience and Chaired by Fiona Sandford (Visionary CEO) the panel will discuss the challenges faced by visually impaired people and consider issues relating to the shift towards locally designed solutions.

Matthew Broom – CEO Vision UK

Matt originally joined VISION 2020 UK to implement the organisation’s strategic plans and operations. With the 2017 rebrand to Vision UK Matt was heavily involved in the formation of the new strategic panels and in leading the work of our expert committees, ensuring all achieve proper results and make full use of the expertise of specific members and experts from within and without the sight loss sector.

His role as CEO of Vision UK involves working with and encouraging collaboration between the different organisations working nationally and regionally within the eye health and sight loss sector and beyond. This includes taking a leading role in work with government departments, local authorities, clinical leads, commissioners and member organisations.

Matt also chairs the lay group of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists; he is an appointed Governor of Moorfields eye hospital and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and the City of London.

Charles Colquhoun – CEO Thomas Pocklington Trust

Charles Colquhoun was born and brought up in Pembrokeshire and joined the Royal Mail graduate scheme after graduating from Leeds University and qualified as an accountant in 1990. He held many positions in the organisation over a 30-year career. He left in 2016 and joined Thomas Pocklington Trust as Director of Resources and became interim CEO at the end of 2018 a position that was made permanent in 2019. He is also a guest lecturer at Sheffield Business School.

Owen Williams – Chairperson Visionary and Director of Wales Council of the Blind

Owen was appointed to the Chair of Visionary earlier this year.  Owen is the Director of Wales Council of the Blind (WCB) in 2012 and has over 23 years’ experience of working within the sight loss sector in Wales.

Owen sits on a number of all-Wales groups including Welsh Government’s Eye Health Care Steering Group and is the Chair of the Low Vision Service Wales Advisory Group. He has a background in access technology and providing specialist assessments and advice including the provision of technical assessments through the Access to Work and Disability Student Allowance (DSA) schemes. Owen has also worked on a number of projects within health and social care.

Owen has Nystagmus and is partially sighted and this enables him to bring a unique service-user perspective.

Matt Stringer – CEO RNIB

Matt Stringer joined RNIB after a thirty-year career working in Retail. He joined Marks and Spencer as a graduate trainee and worked over 15 years in the textile and International parts of the business. Having spent six years working for Accenture in their Retail practice, Matt has most recently been the Managing Director of Carphone Warehouse and Mothercare. He has had a strong philanthropic bent, running the London marathon twice for different charities, coaching various sports team (and remains the Safeguarding Officer for Bath Colts RFC), and is on the Alumni Council of Bristol University. The opportunity to drive RNIB through the next phase of its evolution is thrilling and humbling.

Tom Wright – CEO Guide Dogs

Tom is CEO of Guide Dogs, a Non-Executive Director of NICE, and a Trustee of Doteveryone, championing responsible technology for a fairer future. He is also a Trustee of the Leeds Castle Foundation, the Imperial War Museum Development Trust and the Royal Green Jackets Museum.

Prior to becoming CEO of Guide Dogs, Tom was Chief Executive of Age UK and Age International having founded Age UK in 2009 resulting from the merger of Help the Aged and Age Concern. He was also Chair of the Richmond Group of leading health charities.

Previous roles include CEO of VisitBritain, Managing Director of Saga Holidays and a Saga Group Board Director. Before joining Saga he worked for Scottish and Newcastle plc developing Center Parcs in England and then in Europe. He has a marketing background having worked on such brands as KP, Anchor and Carlsberg.

Tom was awarded a CBE in 2007.

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