Our organisation

Fight for Sight is the eye charity leading the way in pioneering sight loss research

Fight for Sight is a charity registered in England (1111438) and governed by a Board of Trustees. The day-to-day running of the charity is the responsibility of the Chief Executive and Executive Team.

Message from the Royal Patron  

Prince Andrew, Royal Patron

"Thanks to the support given by Fight for Sight, people all over the world are able to benefit from advances in the prevention of blindness and treatment of eye disease. I am certain that funding research into the prevention and treatment of eye diseases is vital in helping to reduce the incidence of these diseases, along with the consequent suffering. It also offers hope to thousands of others. I applaud Fight for Sight in leading the way in this important area of research and in doing so, reminding us all of the importance of our sight. The high value of the work being done by Fight for Sight is incalculable and Fight for Sight deserves our continuing wholehearted support.

HRH The Duke of York KG

  • Vice Presidents

    Fight for Sight's Vice Presidents are appointed in recognition of their significant support of the charity over many years.

    Mr Christopher Moore

    Christopher Moore obtained a law degree and then qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse. After a first career in investment banking with Lazards and the Fleming Group, he set up his own business in 1995, concentrating mainly on strategic advice and private equity. He is currently Chairman of Mobeus 4 VCT plc and an Advisor to the ISIS board at Oxford University. His other interests include being Deputy Chairman of Bletchley Park Trust. He has been involved with Fight for Sight since the mid 1980s and was Chairman for 8 years until March 2014.

    Mr Christopher Prideaux

    Christopher Prideaux is a Vice President of Fight for Sight and has been involved with the charity for many years. He was Chairman of the Iris Fund for the Prevention of Blindness for eight years before it merged with Fight for Sight in 2005. Christopher has also played an active part at Farm Africa where he was on the finance committee for several years.

    Christopher spent more than twenty-five years working at the merchant bank, Arbuthnot Latham, where he became Deputy Chairman. He lives in Buckinghamshire where he has many interests, and was High Sheriff of the county in 1992.

    Mr Clive Stone

    Clive Stone was a Trustee of Fight for Sight for over 20 years, latterly as Chairman. He is now a Vice President. Clive qualified as an optometrist in 1962 when he began his career with Dollond and Aitchison, going on to become managing director and then chairman and chief executive of the Dollond and Aitchison Group in 1980.

    Clive is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists. He served as a governor of the Royal National College for the Blind for 10 years and was a Master of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. He is also a Liveryman and Freeman of the City of London and a Trustee of the Wiseman Memorial Fund.

    Mr Simon Weil

    Simon Weil was Trustee of Fight for Sight for over 20 years. He is Head of the Individuals Group at Bircham Dyson Bell LLP, specialising in charity law, tax-planning and contentious trust and estate matters for private clients and charities. He has lectured on charity trusteeship, charities in the context of tax-planning, the Charities Bill and public benefit. He sits on the Executive Committee of the Charity Law Association and on the Advisory Board of the European Association for Planned Giving of which he is also the Chairman.

  • Patrons

    Fight for Sight has the support of a number of very special people who help promote the important work of the charity as Patrons:

    Dame Joan Collins DBE

    The Lord Colwyn CBE

    Dr Alan Diamond OBE

    Dr Ahmad Al-Dubayan, Director General of the The Islamic Cultural Centre and the London Central Mosque Trust

    His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain

    The Very Reverend John Hall, Dean of Westminster

    Lord Drayson

    Mr Daniel Kawczynski MP

    Ms Phyllida Law

    Miss Jan Leeming

    Lady Lyell

    Miss Sue MacGregor CBE

    Mr Chris Mairs CBE

    The Free Churches Moderator

    The Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland

    Mr Philip Mould OBE

    Mrs Jane Ridley

    President of the College of Optometrists

    President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists

    President of the Royal College of Physicians

    Mr Tommy Salisbury

    Sir James Spooner FCA

    Mr Tom Wiggin

  • Ambassadors

    Ambassadors of Fight for Sight are appointed in recognition of their contribution to eye research and to the work of Fight for Sight. Current ambassadors are:

    Professor Sir Peng Khaw

    Professor John Marshall

  • Trustees

    Board of Trustees

    Fight for Sight is governed by a Board of Trustees who meet at least four times a year to agree the strategy and areas of activity for the charity including consideration of grant-making, fundraising, investments, reserves, and risk management policies and performance. Certain Trustees also sit on sub-committees of the Board.

    Chairman: Mr Nigel Pantling 1,2,3

    Nigel Pantling has been an independent strategic adviser to Chairmen and Chief Executives of public companies since 1997. Formerly he was a Corporate Finance Director at Schroders and at Hambros Bank, where he was Head of Corporate Finance. Nigel started his working life as an army officer and subsequently joined the Home Office working on criminal policy issues and was private secretary to the Home Secretary. Nigel has extensive experience of the charity sector, and has been a Trustee or Director of nine not-for-profit organisations, four times as chair. Nigel remains chair of Park Theatre in London.

    Ms Joanna Baldwin 2,4

    Joanna Baldwin is a non-executive director of Aviva France, the largest subsidiary of the £43bn life and general insurance provider. Her career spans marketing at Unilever with advertising at JWT and then Publicis. She was Senior Vice President and Head of Global Business Development at Publicis Worldwide, and sole woman member on the Executive Board. She has advised global brands in both traditional and digital media at the most senior levels internationally (including British Airways, Intel, HP, Yahoo! Europe, Ericsson, Inmarsat, Microsoft and the European Central Bank). Her high tech experience led to founding her own digital strategy agency. Clients ranged from pure play digital businesses to more established brands seeking to transform their business model to the digital age. Latterly, Joanna was Chief Operating Officer of (RED) International, the world’s leading cause-related marketing initiative founded by Bono (of U2) in 2006.

    Ms Ginny Greenwood 4

    Ginny Greenwood has 23 years of fundraising experience. She is the Chief Executive of the Mayor of London's Music Fund. She was previously the Development Director of the Tricycle Theatre and Managing Director of ExecEvents Club.  

    Professor M Francesca Cordeiro 3

    Professor M Francesca Cordeiro, is Professor of Ophthalmology at Imperial College London and the Western Eye Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and a clinician scientist at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. She is Chairman of ICORG (Imperial College Ophthalmic Research Group) and Director of the ICORG Clinical Trials Research Unit. Her research is mainly funded through the Wellcome Trust, and is focused on novel and translational approaches to retinal and neurodegenerative diseases. She serves on a number of international committees including the European Glaucoma Society, EVICRnet and EVER, and is on the Editorial Board of various journals including Investigative Ophthalmology, Experimental Eye Research, Ophthalmic Research and Scientifica.  

    Ms Fiona Hathorn 1,4

    Fiona Hathorn spent over 17 years working in the city as an asset manager of equities portfolios, unit trusts and pension funds. Most of Fiona's early career was spent with Hill Samuel Asset Management, before joining Old Mutual Asset Management in 2000, as Head of Global Equities. She is currently Executive Director of Women on Boards - a leading network for women seeking leadership roles in the not-for-profit, private, government and public sectors. Fiona is also an active angel investor and supports female entrepreneurs in particular to get access to capital.

    Professor Roy Quinlan BSc PhD 3

    Professor Roy Quinlan is a Professor in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University. He is a member of the Association for Research into Vision and Ophthalmology, International Society for Eye Research, the British Society for Cell Biology and British Biophysical Society. Professor Quinlan’s research interests include a focus on the lens of the eye and how this functions. He is a past Chair of our Grants Assessment Panel and will be joining our Grants Committee.

    Mr Alistair Rae 4

    Alistair Rae qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG and after three years with Deloittes, he joined Cazenove & Co in their corporate finance department. He became the CEO of their Asian business in 1989, based in Hong Kong, and then joined HSBC Investment Bank in 1996. In 2002, he joined Jarvis plc, becoming Finance Director in 2004 where he led their financial restructuring and rescue. He was CEO of Imagelinx plc from 2005 to 2013. He has also been a non-executive Director and Chairman of other listed and unlisted companies in the UK and abroad.

    Professor David Spalton FRCS FRCP FRCOphth 3

    Retired from the NHS, Professor Spalton worked as a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at St Thomas's Hospital as well as being honorary consultant to the Chelsea Pensioners at Royal Hospital, Chelsea, the King Edward VII's Hospital for Officers and as civilian advisor in ophthalmology to the Metropolitan Police. He is still actively involved in his practice, research and publishing and is a consultant to several biotech companies.

    Ms Louisa Vincent 1

    Louisa Vincent has spent over 25 years working in asset management in both Australia and the UK. She joined State Street Global Advisors in 1998 in Sydney, then transferred to their London office in 2004 before moving to Lazard Asset Management Ltd in 2007, where she is Managing Director, Head of Institutions and Charities. She is a Trustee of the Lazard Samaritan Fund and has also spent over 17 years as an active member of the charities committees for both State Street and Lazard.

    Mr Thomas Bjorn 2,3 

    Thomas Bjorn is an internationally experienced life sciences lawyer and expert in providing legal advice to the pharmaceutical, biotech and food manufacturing industries. He has worked in private legal practice and in-house in England, Switzerland and Denmark and as a lecturer at the University of Copenhagen. He joined the London City firm Royds LLP, as a Solicitor, in 2013.

    Mr Simon Craddock 4

    Simon Craddock is currently CMO and Director of Consulting of Avenue51, a UK-based Chinese eCommerce service provider. Simon has spent 25 years specialising in international public relations and over the course of his career he has lived and led communications consultancies in nine countries and worked with private and public sector organisations in over 80. Between 2008 and 2013 he was communications director for Motorola Solutions EMEA.

    Jenny Williams 4

    Jenny has a wealth of policy and governance experience and is currently a board member of the Fundraising Regulator and of the GB Greyhound Regulatory Board. 

    She was from 2005 until late 2015 the CEO and a Commissioner of the Gambling Commission UK and had worked previously as a senior civil servant at the Inland Revenue, Departments of Transport and the Environment and the Lord Chancellor's Department (now Ministry of Justice). She has been non-executive director of Northumbria Water Plc, National Campaign for the Arts and for Morley College and until recently Vice Chair of the homeless charity The Connection at St. Martin’s. 

    Barbara Merry 1,3

    Barbara Merry is a chartered accountant and has over 30 years' experience in the insurance industry. Until early 2014 she was CEO of Hardy Underwriting Group at Lloyd's. Barbara has served on the Lloyd's Market Association Board, was a member of the Council of Lloyd's from 2007 to 2009 and is a current Court member of the Worshipful Company of Insurers (WCI).

    Barbara is also chair of IWIN, the women's forum she established under the auspices of the WCI and currently holds non-executive director roles at British Friendly Society Ltd, ED LLP, Domestic and General Insurance Limited. She is also a Trustee at the Barbican Arts Centre and is connected to the Women for Women International charity.

    Jonathan Grant 3

    Jonathan Grant is Director of the Policy Institute, Professor of Public Policy and Assistant Principal for Strategy at King’s College London. His main research interests are on biomedical and health R&D policy, the ‘science of science’, research impact assessment, and the use of research and evidence in policy and decision making. Jonathan was President of RAND Europe between June 2006 and October 2012. Prior to joining RAND in 2002, Jonathan was Head of Policy at the Wellcome Trust.

    Member of Finance Committee
    Member of Nominations Committee
    Member of Grants Committee
    Member of Marketing and Fundraising Committee

  • Grants Assessment Panel

    The Grants Assessment Panel (GAP) members assist us in assessing grants and make recommendations to the Grants Committee. Its members are:

    Professor Chris Hammond (Chair)
    Frost Chair of Ophthalmology, King’s College London, St Thomas’ Hospital, London

    Professor Maria Balda
    Professor of Cell Biology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London

    Professor Rupert Bourne
    Consultant Ophthalmic SurgeonVision & Eye Research Unit, Postgraduate Medical Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

    Professor Michael Cheetham
    Professor of Molecular Cell Biology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London

    Professor David Crabb
    Professor of Statistics and Vision Research, City University London, London

    Professor Chris Dickinson
    Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester

    Dr Nigel Fullwood
    Senior Lecturer, Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Lancaster University, Lancaster

    Mr Timothy Jackson
    Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, King’s College Hospital, King’s College London

    Mr Frank Larkin
    Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London

    Professor Janet Liversidge
    Emeritus Professor in Immunology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen

    Professor Andrew Lotery
    Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Southampton, Southampton

    Professor Paul McGraw
    Allen Standen Chair in Visual Neuroscience, School of Psychology, Nottingham University, Nottingham

    Mr Martin McKibbin
    Consultant Ophthalmologist, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds 

    Professor Heping Xu
    Professor of Ocular Immunology, Centre for Experimental Medicine, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland

  • Small Grants Assessment Panel

    The Small Grants Assessment Panel (SGAP) members assist us in assessing Small Grant Awards applications and make recommendations to the Grants Committee. Its members are:

    Miss Denize Atan MB BCh MA MRCP FRCOphth PhD

    Mr Alastair Denniston MA MRCP FRCOphth PhD

    Dr Pirro Hysi MD PhD

    Dr Hari Jayaram BM BCh MRCOphth PhD FRCSEd

    Dr Tiarnan Keenan BM BCh MA MSc MRCOphth

    Dr Alex Shortt MB BCh MSc MRCOphth PhD

    Professor Anita Simmers DBO MPH PhD FSB FRSA

  • Executive team

    Fight for Sight's executive team oversees the day-to-day running of the charity.

    Chief Executive: Michele Acton

    Michele graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University. She then spent 15 years working as an investment banker in London advising companies on raising finance and mergers and acquisitions. In 2004 she became the Chief Executive of UCL Hospitals Charitable Foundation and became Chief Executive of Fight for Sight in November 2006. Michele is a Trustee Director of the Centre for Ageing Better, co-chair of the Vision 2020 UK Eye Research Group and a member of the James Lind Alliance Advisory Group.

    Director of Finance and Resources: Zoe Marshall 

    Zoe graduated with a degree in Politics and Economics from Newcastle University before joining Deloitte to train as an accountant. After gaining her Chartered Accountancy qualification, Zoe transferred into Deloitte’s Charities Team, working with clients such as Christian Aid, Mencap, Samaritans and the Disasters Emergency Committee. Most recently she worked as Director of Finance and Operations at the international development charity Concern Worldwide (UK) which she joined in 2007. Zoe joined Fight for Sight as Director of Finance and Resources in May 2016.

    Director of Marketing and Development: Natasha Dickinson

    Natasha graduated with a degree in Art History from UEA, and started her career in the art world branching out into interior design. She then moved into events marketing spanning commercial events such as the Country Living Fairs, and the BBC Good Homes shows before moving into the charity sector where she marketed and promoted the RHS flagship flower shows, Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tatton Park. She then went on to be Head of Marketing and Fundraising for Cancer Research UK’s mass participation events, most notably Race for Life, which she grew to record breaking attendance and income figures. She moved from CRUK to the RNIB where she became Group Head of Marketing and Communications developing nation-wide integrated awareness raising campaigns that increased brand awareness, engagement as well as winning awards, and after a short stint of consultancy she joined Fight for Sight as their new Director of Marketing and Development in December 2016.