Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey is a multi-sensory charity committed to supporting young people and adults in Surrey who are vision impaired, Deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind.
We value our staff and the skills, experience, passion, and engagement they bring to Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey. We work alongside one another, all with a part to play to help and support people in Surrey with a sensory impairment. Together with our staff, our volunteers are an integral part of the charity, giving our service users the gift of their time and knowledge to help and support them.
We are also indebted to our current President and Patron and are supported by a wonderful team of Trustees, who use their mixture of skills and experiences to lead Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey and shape our future.
Please click on the individual profiles below to read more.
Michael More-Molyneux – President
Michael More-Molyneux has been the President of Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey and HM Lord Lieutenant of Surrey since 2015. Over the years Michael More-Molyneux has built links with many organisations and businesses in Surrey. Since his appointment as Lord-Lieutenant he has become involved with an increasing number of charities and many good causes across the county, he considers this a very important part of his role.
Dame Judi Dench – Patron
Acting legend and star of the screen, Dame Judi Dench became Patron of Sensory Service by Sight for Surrey in 2022. Dame Judi lives with an eye condition, Macular Degeneration, and knows first-hand how losing your sight can make even the most simplest tasks a challenge. “The work that this charity does in getting people set up and adjusted to life with a sensory loss is amazing and I am honoured to be their Patron.”
Clare Burgess – CEO
Clare Burgess started as CEO of Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey in January 2023. Clare was previously CEO of Surrey Coalition of Disabled People.
Clare is a highly experienced manager and leader. She has worked across local, regional, and national charities in both executive and non-executive roles. She has been able to establish trusting relationships across the local authority, health and voluntary, community and faith sector, both regionally in Surrey and nationally. This has enabled her to influence policy and take a leadership role in driving forward collaborations, projects, and alliances.
Clare previously worked for Mary Frances Trust, a mental health charity, and prior to that, for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Clare has lived experience with a vision impairment and tinnitus that brings an understanding and empathy to the role.
Christine Wilmshurst – Chair
Christine has been on the Board of Trustees at Sight for Surrey for just over 5 years and brings a wealth of experience in Marketing, Fundraising and Business Development having worked for consumer goods giant, Proctor & Gamble. Christine started with Sight for Surrey as a volunteer, primarily involved in fundraising. She joined the Board in March 2017 and has chaired the fundraising committee for five and a half years. One of Christine’s brothers lost his eyesight as a result of an accident, so knows how crucial the help and support the charity provides to service users, and their families.
Christine lives in Surrey with her husband Steve.
Bob Turnbull – Deputy Chair
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.
Beth Halliday joined the board of Trustees in September 2022 and is looking forward to working with Sight for Surrey and supporting the wonderful work they do.
Her youngest of three children was diagnosed with an Optic Glioma when she was three years old resulting in lots of hospital trips and a severe vision impairment. Now nearly 17 years old, she has hugely benefitted from the emotional support, peer to peer opportunities, habilitation and mobility training provided by Sight for Surrey‘s Children & Young People Services (CYPS) team.
Beth has worked in the music industry for nearly 30 years in various capacities and also enjoys volunteering with Zero Carbon Guildford at the weekends. She is looking forward to joining the Services Committee and bringing her experiences as a parent carer to Sight for Surrey.
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.
Ben has ten years of business experience. He first started off as a management consultant with KPMG and then PwC. Most recently, Ben worked as an executive at a rapidly growing financial services business. He has joined Sight for Surrey as a Trustee to use his commercial and financial expertise to help support the charity build on its foundation of success for the future.
Ben is a chartered management accountant and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives with his partner in Surrey; in his spare time, he enjoys playing squash, reading, and trying to do DIY.
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!
David joined as a Trustee in September 2022 having been a service user for a number of years. David is partially sighted as a result of a childhood illness and uses assistive technology. He has spent over 25 years working in retail banking and technology companies and is married to Cathy with three young children and lives in Surrey.
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!
Steve Wherry is profoundly Deaf with over 38 years of dedicated experience in the pension industry. He has a proven track record of dealing with all aspects of pension administration, projects, and systems. His extensive experience includes providing technical support, specialist project knowledge, project management, and coordination, all while delivering key activities to a high standard for a range of high-profile clients, often within challenging timeframes and budgets. He has been a Trustee of Sight for Surrey for over six years.
He has 40 years’ experience in doing various aspects of volunteering work, from managing school newsletters, governance responsibilities to playing a pivotal role in the inception of the England Deaf Rugby Union. Currently, he is an advisor to the Deaf UK 50+ orchestrating an annual holiday event tailored to the needs of Deaf people aged over 50. He is an avid supporter of the Bath Rugby and Plymouth Argyle teams, and he has his sights set on an adventure in 2025, with plans to travel to Australia as part of the British Lions Rugby Tour!
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!
Stephen joined Sight for Surrey as a Trustee in October 2022. He was primarily a service user and continues to be an active volunteer. He is a red & white cane user, who is registered severely sight impaired with a hearing loss (Dual Sensory Loss).
Stephen is a keen musician and with the support of friends still performs locally.
He also has an avid interest in access technology which is important to him so he can communicate effectively and remain independent.
Stephen is a firm believer in “where there is a will there is a way” and considers himself to be a problem solver, which has helped him on his dual sensory loss journey.