North East-based charity, Sight Service has appointed Sarah French as chief executive to lead the organisation and its strategic delivery.
Sight Service supports people who are visually impaired living in Gateshead and South Tyneside to live independent and fulfilled lives. It aims to help people who are living with or experiencing sight loss by promoting good mental health, reducing isolation, increasing personal safety, and raising awareness of eye health and the impact of sight loss.
Sarah will work with the board, staff and volunteers to support the needs of individuals, as well as shape the ongoing strategy and development of the organisation. She will be responsible for ensuring that the organisation achieves its strategic objectives and vision. This will include engaging with the blind and visually impaired to ensure their needs are being met through their individual care plans, as well as working with partners to identify innovative ways of delivering its services.
As ambassadors for Sight Service, Sarah and the team will work closely with local businesses and employers to raise awareness of sight loss and how they can support people with low vision.
Sarah has extensive experience within the third sector having, most recently, worked at Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle for eleven years in the roles of deputy chief executive officer and director of business. In addition, she is a board member for South Tyneside Homes and previously held the role of trustee for Newcastle Community Asset Trust.
Sight Service provides a range of services including vision rehabilitation, low vision support and specialist technology training. In addition, it supports several community groups and offers a range of volunteering and mentoring opportunities.
Commenting on her appointment, Sarah French said: “Sight Service helps people with sight loss to lead independent and fulfilled lives, this work is truly invaluable to individuals and their families.
“I am committed to raising awareness of sight loss and the far-reaching impact it has on individuals and those around them, as well as the essential support available through Sight Service. I will be advocating a personalised approach to our service and will work closely with Sight Service’s board, team of experts and active service users to further strengthen our offering and ultimately grow the organisation.”
Earlier this year, Lin Elder-Atterton MVO took over the role of chair of the board. In her role as chair, Lin, along with the trustees, will set the strategic direction of the charity, ensure the business is accountable in areas such as finance, legislation and operations, and act as an ambassador for the charity.
Lin Elder-Atterton said of her role: “I became aware of Sight Service a number of years ago and instantly recognised the value of its work, I was therefore delighted to take on the role of chair of this forward-thinking charity.
“It’s a difficult climate for charities and I believe that it is crucially important that they are equipped with the right structure, governance and focus. The board are delighted to be working with Sarah to spearhead plans which will help to drive Sight Service forward.”
For more information visit www.sight-service.org.uk