London Sight Loss Council launched in January 2021 and works to advocate the needs of blind and partially sighted people and influence positive change in the capital.

Our members meet monthly to discuss accessibility issues and plan projects under the three priority themes of Employment and Skills; Health and Wellbeing and Inclusive Communities.

If you don’t live in London, don’t worry, we have Sight Loss Councils operating throughout the country and plan to expand further. Check out our Meet the Councils page, to find out if we have a council near you.


Become a member of London Sight Loss Council

If you are blind and partially sighted, live in London and interested in advocating for visually impaired people, we want to hear from you!

If you are interested in finding out more information about volunteering for the Sight Loss Councils, read the Volunteer Role Description below. If you would like to  become a Sight Loss Council member apply online here.

Volunteer Role Description Sight Loss Council Member (DOCX, 60 KB)


Meet our members

Haren Thillainathan

Haren has a 20-year career in the energy sector predominantly as a lobbyist and has spent the last five years as a blind professional. Following sight loss, Haren has taken up active participation in para sports including triathlon and snowboarding. Some of his other interests include attending music gigs, reading and politics.

Haren lives in South West London with his 4-year-old guide dog called Addie.

“I am excited and honoured to be involved with the London Sight Loss Council and the opportunity to use my experience and skills to benefit London’s blind and partially sighted community and help achieve the London Sight Los Council’s objectives and maximise its profile.”

Jonathon Abro

Jonathan Abro is a Freelance IT Project Manager and Consultant specialising in software development projects and in making all applications accessible to people of all abilities and impairments. Jonathan grew up in a farming community in Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa before living in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. He has been living in London since the mid-1990s.

His passion is for travel and has spent (and continues to spend) as much time as he can exploring some far-flung places including climbing Kilimanjaro and camping on the ice in Antarctica.

Jonathan is Registered Blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP); he is a Trustee of VocalEyes, the charity that provides access to the arts through audio description. He is also a Tech Volunteer for RNIB and a member of the London Group of Retina UK. As a member of the London Sight Loss Council, Jonathan’s aims are to help make Technology and Services more accessible to blind and partially sighted people and to help make London, one of the most exciting cities in the world, more accessible to everyone regardless of ability or impairment.

Lucy Williams

Lucy graduated with a Master’s degree in Physics and Astronomy from Durham University. She grew up in Bristol, where she attended educational programmes for blind and partially sighted children ran by the RNIB. Lucy moved to South London in 2018.

She previously worked in journal publishing at the Royal Astronomical Society, and has given talks online and at conferences about accessibility for disabled people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She now works in the sight loss sector.

Lucy has Oculocutaneous Albinism, so has been partially sighted since birth. She enjoys reading and runs an Instagram account where she promotes books by disabled authors (@disabledreader), after noticing a lack of good disability representation in popular books. She also loves music and going to gigs all over the city, and teaching herself guitar.

“Growing up with a visual impairment can be challenging, but I’ve had amazing support and encouragement from my family and friends. It’s important and refreshing to meet people with similar eye conditions and I’m particularly excited to meet and work with the other Sight Loss Council members to be a force for positive change in London, for current and future Londoners in our community”

Mariza Jürgens

Mariza Jürgens has a BA (Honours) in International Politics and is a qualified diplomat, securities trader and securities compliance officer. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Merton Vision and on the Vision Foundation’s Centenary Appeal Board. Mariza was nominated for the 2020 UNESCO/Emir Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in recognition of her tireless advocacy and work in the field of access to digital and assistive technologies for persons with disabilities.

Mrs Jürgens is severely visually impaired and has a particular interest in alleviating the high unemployment rate for persons with visual impairments through better and equal access to digital assistive technologies. She wishes to use her platform as a London Sight Loss Council Member to advocate for equal access to jobs, entertainment and transport for persons with visual impairment.

Renu Walia

Renu has been visually impaired from birth and was diagnosed in 2019 with a rare genetic condition called Achromatopsia.

“Since receiving my diagnosis, I have been actively networking with other blind and partially sighted peers and have developed an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced in society. There is still a lack of awareness and education about visual impairment. As a London Sight Loss Council member I’m keen to raise awareness and educate about vision impairment and to deliver this knowledge with a positive, optimistic and holistic approach”.

Renu has many interests, including martial arts, walking, reading and cooking; “I’m a huge kitchen gadget fan and become a big kid with a new toy when I receive a new gadget”. She enjoys going on adventures both big and small, and she’s a social butterfly, really enjoying socialising and pursuing new experiences.

Steven Reed

Steven has been a professional actor for over 20 years, performing on the large and small screen, as well as in theatre. When beginning his sight loss journey, Steven thought his acting career was over, however, the theatre company Extant helped him rediscover his love of performing and see things differently; his career has continued to flourish.

Diagnosed with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) in July 2014, Steven has central vision loss and attended a ‘Living with Sight Loss’ course run by the RNIB in the spring of 2015.

“This peer support course really helped me to overcome some of the barriers I was facing in my daily life and I’m a passionate advocate for the power of peer support. This inspired me to volunteer and I became a facilitator on the course. In 2020 I became the secretary of my local sight loss organisation, Blind in Greenwich, working closely with other societies and committees across London.”

Vicky Blencowe

Vicky built a professional career as a Building Surveyor for many years before starting to lose her sight. Following a diagnosis of an eye condition called Stargardt’s she began a 10 year career working for a local Council in an administrative role. When made redundant in 2011, she decided to take time out to raise her young family.

“I didn’t know any blind and partially sighted people, but in 2019 I began to really connect within the sight loss community in London and I have not looked back since. Travelling in and around London increased my passion in the need for accessibility and inclusion in the built environment and public transport”.

With sight loss expected to increase dramatically, Vicky hopes that the London Sight Loss Council will raise awareness and inform policy makers, professionals, local authorities and educate the wider public in the issues faced by people living with sight loss, especially where this is hidden.

“I’m excited about the ongoing progress of assistive technologies and digital accessibility in this increasingly visual virtual world”.

Davinder Kullar

Davinder Kullar is a Technology for Life Co-ordinator with RNIB. Registered blind, he understands the challenges and is passionate about the potential value in using technology for blind and partially sighted people.

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