If you would like to read more about any Trustee, please click on the individual profiles below.
Cecilia Power – Chairman
When her sight began to fail and having been diagnosed with macular degeneration another patient told her about Sight for Surrey (which was then called SAVI). She was invited to take part in the pilot “Progress in Sight” Group and became a Sight for Surrey volunteer six years ago. She is currently starting to talk to groups of people about Sight for Surrey’s splendid work. She spent thirty five years in Primary Education, the last fifteen years as a Head Teacher so her skills lie in the field of communication and management. She became a Sight for Surrey Trustee in 2009, and Chair of the Services Sub-Committee in July 2012.
Grant Lewis – Treasurer
Grant Lewis recently joined Sight for Surrey as Treasurer and Trustee. Grant is a chartered accountant and has spent the last 30 years in professional and financial services as a partner with Ernst & Young and more recently in banking and payments. He joined as Trustee looking to utilise his financial experience to support the charity in delivering its objectives whilst ensuring it remains on a sound financial footing. Grant lives in Surrey and is married with two daughters, one having recently finished university and has started her first ‘real’ job and the other is in her second year.
In the late 1990s she became a freelance abstractor, working for PIRA International, Reed Elsevier and the Department of Health Resource Development Unit from 2003 to date. She has recently become a Sight for Surrey trustee.
Cathy took early retirement from the insurance industry in 2016 after a number of roles at senior management level working with general insurance underwriting companies here and overseas. Her work has mainly been related to the technical aspects of insurance and included setting product strategy and monitoring performance.
Cathy lives in Reigate and since retiring has worked with Sight for Surrey as a volunteer driver and is also Programme Secretary for a local Arts Society. When time and money permit, travel is a passion.
Following an accident, her brother lost his sight and is registered blind, so she has first-hand knowledge of just how vital the support we give to our service users and their families is.
Christine will use her extensive experience in fundraising /income generation and her professional skills to ensure we have a strong and sustainable fundraising programme to deliver these services.
Christine lives in Surrey with her husband Steve.
A work colleague she knew had a friend who worked for Sight for Surrey (SAVI as they were then) and she contacted them. Mary says; “Sight for Surrey were wonderful and helped me with everything I needed to know in the beginning and still do. I just ring them to get advice”.
In 2016 she decided she wanted to help others in the same situation and became a volunteer for the organisation and in 2017 became a Trustee. She has a guide dog called Opal who comes along to any children’s events. The children love her and she loves all the attention!
Michael was awarded the Diploma of Higher Education in Rehabilitation Studies in July 2000. Unfortunately, in 2004, he became partially sighted in his right eye and was no longer able to see to drive. However, with support from the Access to Work programme, Michael was able to continue with his career until retirement.
In the fifteen years of being a Rehabilitation Worker, Michael has met many members of the public in many different environments with some very satisfying outcomes.
He is married and lives in Hindhead, Surrey and has one daughter who is studying medicine. Michael is now registered severely sight impaired however he still maintains his interests of oil painting, gardening, sailing and dog walking.
During the late 1980s, the late Mary Guest MBE set up a new group for Deaf people with RP and linked it to Usher Syndrome. There are different types of Usher Syndrome. Russell has Syndrome Type 1.
Russell studied Horticulture at a college in Hampshire, after which he entered full-time employment as a Science Gardener at Whitgift School, an independent school in Croydon. Sadly, he was made redundant after nearly 30 years service but the Whitgift Foundation agreed to accept his early retirement.
How did Russell become involved with Sight for Surrey?
Since being registered blind in 1987, Russell has been an active member of Sense and Sight for Surrey. An active artist, his well-known cartoon character is ‘Fred the Usher’. The very loveable hedgehog was created in 1990 when Sense asked him to design some Christmas cards. Fred the Usher still appears on Christmas cards today.
Russell is married to Anne. She was also diagnosed with Ushers; although she has had a cochlear implant. They live in Warlingham, where Russell enjoys gardening, local history, genealogy, antiques and visiting historic places like the National Trust. He even finds time to go to the gym!
Currently he serves as a Co-Chair of a Workability (Disability) Inclusion Network within the GB arm of his company, being responsible for moving the company’s strategic aims and objectives forward. He works closely with the Executive Sponsor to gain direction, guidance and support, and engages senior leaders to address disability and wellbeing within the work place. He is the adviser to the Deaf UK 50+ annual holiday event organised for deaf people aged 50 and over and a founding member of the Surdi Domum Group, a Deaf led property development and consultancy company.
Penny lives in Farnborough and was born in Cuckfield, Sussex and attended Mill Hall School (Oral). Usher since birth her sight hasn’t significantly deteriorated since and remains fairly stable.
She qualified with a Diploma in Deaf Studies in 1995 from Bristol University and went on to be the Coordinator at the Sign Language section of Hampshire Deaf Association supporting all the teachers who delivered British Sign Language (BSL) training and C & G training.
After being made redundant from Farnborough College where she taught, Penny decided in 2007 to set up her own Training Centre and Sign for Thoughts was born. Her core belief that it was vital to continue teaching BSL for the Deaf/ deafblind and hearing communities across Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and further afield.
Sign for Thoughts delivers BSL courses levels 1 – 6 and since 2014, working with a colleague, Penny has delivered Deafblind training levels 1 -3. Penny believes it is vital for the Deafblind community, to run Deafblind courses to enable and support the current and future Deafblind Support Workers, Deafblind guides and Deafblind Advocates with experience, training and qualifications.
Aside from working, Penny has been a volunteer for Friends for Young Deaf Trust (FYD) and Deaf Breakthrough organising many events. She also works closely with the charity Chloe’s and Sophie’s Special Ears Fund (CSSEF), delivering Deaf awareness training and short courses to schools, the fire service, councils and more. In her spare time Penny likes Yoga, running keeping fit, meeting people, a big achievement was completing the London Marathon!