Firstly, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and is ready to get stuck into 2018. We have an exciting year ahead with lots of developments in the pipeline and I’m looking forward to seeing it all roll out.

This month we have two important governance meetings, our Finance and Resources Committee Meeting on the 16th and the Board of Trustees meeting on the 23rd. We will be presenting our updated strategy and business plan to Trustees and hopefully getting their agreement so we can then flesh out the plans and budgets with all of our teams.

An important part of this will be considering our risk management strategy, including in particular risks to our reputation. Our reputation is crucial as it is what has enabled us to build strong relationships across the Eye Health and Sight Loss Sector. Some organisations use risk management as an excuse for not doing things (along with health and safety!) We believe the biggest risk is not being adventurous enough to do what people with sight loss need and that is and will continue to be at the forefront of our planning and work.

In our Finance and Resources Committee we will also be considering a hot topic (although nobody’s favourite!), the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), coming into effect from 25th May will affect anyone who maintains information about other people – so that’s basically all of us! There are a lot of consultants trying to generate business out of it by sending scary emails threatening dire consequences unless you employ them for a high fee – I get several emails every day about this! However people do need to know that we will all need to work in a different way and some of the databases built up in the past may become unusable. The main change is basically that you can’t do anything with anyone’s data unless you have their explicit agreement. More to follow on this!

Finally I would like to add my personal congratulations to a couple of people who will shortly be starting new jobs. Visionary announced in December that Fiona Sandford has been appointed as their interim CEO while Alison Oliver is on maternity leave. Fiona has worked for Visibility in West Scotland for 20 years. I met her for the first time at the recent Visionary conference and I’m really looking forward to working with her.

I also want to congratulate Emma Cruickshank on being appointed as the new CEO of Birmingham Vision. I also met Emma for the first time at the Visionary conference – but not last year!

I look forward to being able to congratulate many more people on achieving great things during 2018 and to meeting lots more great people – at the Visionary conference and in other places


Chief Executive

Peter Corbett