South West London Sight Loss Council: Meet the members

Meet the Staff

Head shot of Lucy Williams, Senior Engagement Manager (south). She is smiling at the camera. she has long fair hair and is wearing glasses.

Lucy Williams

Lucy is the Senior Engagement Manager for the South and joined Sight Loss Councils in September 2022, having previously sat on the Council as a volunteer.

She was born with albinism and has been partially sighted since birth.

Lucy is a very keen gig goer, loves browsing independent bookshops, and attempting to play football! Before joining the sight loss sector, she worked in the space industry, and still has a keen love of all things spacey.

Having moved to London in 2018, Lucy has enjoyed exploring the city and is really excited to be supporting the growth of Sight Loss Councils in London.

She is passionate about working with members of London Sight Loss Council to be a force for positive change for current and future Londoners in our community. She wants to push for improved accessibility and awareness of visual impairment across the capitol.

Black and white headshot of Liam O'Carroll. His head is turned slightly to the side and he is smiling.

Liam O'Carroll

Liam was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 6 and was registered blind aged 11.  He took up the role of Sight Loss Coordinator for the South in January 2023.

Liam first joined Thomas Pocklington Trust in 2016, He was later seconded to London Vision, where he worked for five years as Project Coordinator.

Before joining TPT, Liam worked freelance as an actor, performing in roles in television, radio and theatre.  He studied English and Drama at Roehampton University and later gained a Masters at the University of Wales, Bangor. Here, he specialised in Arthurian tradition in twentieth-century fiction.

In his spare time, Liam enjoys writing fiction, reading literature, listening to audio described telly and playing board games.

Meet the Members

Headshot of London SLC member, Vicky Blencowe. Vicky is outside and wearing a red sunhat, sunglasses and white and red flowery shirt.

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.”

Headshot of London SLC member, Haren Thillainathan. He standing outside under a tree in the sunshine. He is wearing a red and navy t-shirt.

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 his sight loss, Haren participates in para sports, including triathlon and snowboarding. Other interests include attending music gigs, reading, and politics.

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

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

Image shows South West London SLC member, Harry Meade. He has his head turned to the camera and is smiling. he is standing in front of a door, smiling.

Harry Meade

Harry was registered blind in 1999 due to Retinitis Pigmentosa. He lives in South-West London with his wife and enjoys tandem bike riding, travel, current affairs and listening to audio books.

Harry has now retired following a varied career in tourism – both here and in Europe. He spent the last part of his working life with Action for Blind People and RNIB.

Harry says: “I am delighted to be joining the South-West London Sight Loss Council. I want to help make London a better place for visually impaired people to live, work, and enjoy life to the full.”

Headshot of Mary Cox, South West London SLC member. She is smiling.

Mary Cox

Mary was born with an eye condition which has worsened over the years.

Mary feels the information, advice, and guidance she has received from other visually impaired people has been invaluable in her becoming as independent. Now, Mary wants to contribute to the development of services and products to empower others living with sight loss.

Mary hopes that she can share her experiences, ask questions, and is able to encourage positive change.

She said: “Everyone is unique, and there is a wide range of eye conditions. By joining South West London SLC I am sure I will learn a lot as well as contributing to helping people with visual impairments live fulfilling lives.”

Headshot of South West London SLC member, Nikki Hughes. Nikki is seated, against a cream background. She is sitting at an angle, but facing the camera and smiling.

Nikki Hughes

Nikki was registered partially sighted in 2012 due to Papilledema. This was caused by a neurological condition called idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Nikki is also autistic and has ehlers-danlos syndrome.

Nikki lives in south west London with their husband and three children.

Nikki has worked as a volunteer for a number of organisation’s and is a disability activist and campaigner.

Nikki said: “I am delighted to join South West London Sight Loss Council. I want to help make London a more accessible place to live, work, and visit for all those living with sight loss and a disability.”

A black and white headshot of Jennifer Smith, South West London SLC member. Jennifer is standing at an angle, with her head turned towards the camera. She is smiling.

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer is a life coach and mediator. She was diagnosed with keratoconus in 1992. Following a transplant in 2008, which rejected, she developed glaucoma and is registered sight impaired.

After her transplant, Jennifer finished her law degree and master’s in criminology. She has had a variety of roles including an employment law advisor, paralegal, and youth justice worker. Most recently I have worked as employment advisor and outreach worker with Croydon Vision.

Jennifer’s interest in becoming a Sight Loss Council member stems from her desire to improve access in all spheres of society for those with disabilities.

She said: “I especially have a passion to improve health and fitness inequalities for those who are blind or partially sighted.”

Lilian Danquah, London SLC member. She is facing the camera, smiling.

Lilian Danquah

Lilian Danquah is a young woman from West Africa who relocated to the UK in 2003. As a single mother, she enjoys raising her two beautiful children.

Lilian is a resilient individual who has embraced positive change in her life. She was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy in 2007 and was registered as partially sighted in December 2021.

With a background in administration, Lilian has worked as an Administrator in healthcare and mortgages, demonstrating her ability to overcome challenges.

Lilian’s most recent role as a Volunteering Recruitment Assistant in Healthcare allowed her to contribute to the sector by facilitating the recruitment of dedicated Healthcare workers. She believes in embracing diversity and acknowledging the unique abilities of individuals, promoting inclusivity and equality. Currently pursuing nursing training, Lilian aspires to become an occupational therapist, driven by her desire to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals facing limitations.

Despite facing health challenges, Lilian underwent major surgery in 2018, receiving a kidney and pancreas organ transplant. In her free time, she indulges in hobbies such as singing, cooking, and watching movies.

Lilian’s determination, strength, and love for her family have shaped her journey, and she continues to embrace life with a positive outlook.

Headshot of ashley Pearce, SW London SLC member. He is standing against a white wall, wearing a pale pink t-shirt. He is looking down at the camera.

Ashley Pearce

Ashley was born with genetic cataracts. Several members of his family have sight loss conditions, which has given him further insight into the barriers blind and partially sighted people face.

Ashley likes to keep active and has competed for Britain in athletics and swimming as a registered blind person. He has also run in 10 marathons and participated in several cross country and track events.

Ashley previously ran his own social enterprise for multi-disabled employees and was an international ambassador. During this time, he campaigned for the rights of disabled people, both locally and internationally. He is passionate about empowering and supporting others, helping them to achieve their own personal goals.

Ashley says: “I am really looking forward to joining South West London Sight Loss Council. I am looking forward to being part of a national, proactive organisation which puts the needs of people who are vision impaired on the local and national government agenda.”

Headshot iof North Yorkshire SLC member, Fiona Gibbons. Fiona has fair, shoulder length hair, and is wearing a pinstripe shirt. She is smiling at the camera.

Fiona Gibbons

Coming soon!

Back to top

Share this page