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
"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
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.
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
Mr Daniel Kawczynski MP
Ms Phyllida Law
Miss Jan Leeming
The Lord Low of Dalston CBE
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 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 MBE
Professor Matteo Carandini
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: Nigel Pantling 1,2,4
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.
Steve Blackman 4
Steve Blackman is the Commercial Director of digital agency group Draw, and brings 25 years experience of leading commercial and communications activities. He has worked both client and agency side, and has owned and managed successful companies including Flint London, which co-ran the non-accredited media centre for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Steve is a school governor and is a trustee of the Barfil Charitable Trust.
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.
Professor M Francesca Cordeiro 3
Professor M Francesca Cordeiro, is Professor of Ophthalmology at Imperial College London, the Western Eye Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and also has a chair 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 ARVO, Cophy, European Glaucoma Society, EVI, EVICRnet and EVER, and is on the Editorial Board of various journals including Investigative Ophthalmology, Experimental Eye Research and Ophthalmic Research.
Simon Craddock 3,4
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.
Jonathan Grant 2,3
Jonathan Grant is the Vice President/Vice Principal (Service) at King’s College London and Professor of Public Policy. Service has been identified as one of five strategic priorities in King’s Strategic Vision 2029, alongside Education, Research, London and International. Service encapsulates King’s commitment to society beyond education and research and will enable King’s to realise its vision to make the world a better place. Jonathan’s main research interests are in biomedical and health R&D policy, research impact assessment and the use of research and evidence in policy and decision making. Jonathan was previously Director of the Policy Institute at King’s, President of RAND Europe and Head of Policy at the Wellcome Trust. He received his PhD from the Faculty of Medicine, University of London and his B.Sc. (Econ) from the London School of Economics..
Ginny Greenwood 2,4
Ginny has a long and distinguished career in the charity sector, principally in income generation. She led a £4 million redevelopment of a residential therapeutic school in Oxfordshire; secured funding to establish The Art Room of which the Duchess of Cambridge is Patron; led the development team at the Tricycle Theatre and subsequently served on its appeals committee raising in excess of £7m to transform the theatre, which opened in autumn 2018 rebranded as the Kiln. Latterly, as founder CEO of The London Music Fund the charity quickly became one of the largest music education charities in the UK. Having taken a year out to travelling extensively in South East Asia and South America, Ginny is now director of global events at the Institution of Civil Engineers. She recently trained as a Pilates instructor, is a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and a doting grandmother.
Alina Kessel 4
Alina Kessel is a global executive at WPP, the world leader in marketing communications. She has over 25 years of experience building brands, growing client businesses and running advertising agencies. Alina has lived and worked in the USA, Australia and Germany prior to the UK. She currently leads a multi-agency team to service Procter & Gamble, driving strategies and communication across audiences and media channels for their global Brands. She is also a Board Trustee of Glyndebourne Opera.
Barbara Merry 2,4
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), under the auspices of which she established IWIN, the women’s networking and education forum, in 2014. She currently holds non-executive director roles with Domestic & General Insurance Limited, Ed Broking Group LLP and Argus Group Holdings Limited. She is also chair of Age UK Enterprises Limited. Barbara has a number of charitable interests and is also a business angel investor for a variety of start-up businesses.
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.
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 and has been CFO For Escape Hunt plc since its AIM IPO in May 2017. Alistair 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.
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.
Jenny Williams 3
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.
1 Member of Finance Committee
2 Member of Nominations Committee
3 Member of Research, Policy & Innovation Committee
4 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
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
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 Research, Policy and Innovation: Dr Neil Ebenezer
Neil has a broad scientific knowledge with a degree in biotechnology from Dublin City University and a PhD from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, working there for over 13 years on the genetics of ocular disease. Since leaving the Institute in 2005, Neil has held various posts within the civil service, including a Department of Health role, where he contributed to blood safety and genetics policy. He was more recently Head of New and Emerging Technologies at the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and comes to Fight for Sight from a post as the Head of Science and Innovation at the Department of Transport. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.