Tyne and Wear Sight Loss Council: Meet the members

Meet the Staff

A headshot of Jack Moffat, Engagement Manager for the North East. Jack has dark hair and a beard. He is looking at the camera, smiling.

Jack Moffat

Jack is the Engagement Manager for North East England. He looks after Sight Loss Councils (SLC) in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

Jack has Retinitis Pigmentosa and is registered severely sight impaired. This instilled his passion to help and support others with sight loss.

Jack previously worked as a carer with dementia patients where he flourished. However, as his sight deteriorated, he knew a change of vocation was required and moved into the voluntary sector – becoming a trustee at Vision Northumberland.

Jack loves being surrounded by the nature of Northumberland and is a great lover of sport. He has played cricket for Durham VI Cricket team for several years.

Formerly a Northumberland SLC member, Jack said: “I am thrilled to look after Sight Loss Councils in the North East. I want to help boost our volunteer’s confidence and realise their potential – much like I was able to during my time as a volunteer. I offer a warm and caring approach, synonymous with the North East, and would encourage anyone who is blind or partially sighted and wants to effect change in their community, to get in touch.”

Meet the Members

Head shot of Tyne and Wear SLC member, Hazel Dixon. Hazel is wearing a green jumper and has short cropped hair. She is smiling at the camera.

Hazel Dixon

Hazel lives in Newcastle and has nystagmus and ocular albinism (as did her Mum and grandfather!). They are currently coming to the end of a PhD in design for Sex and Relationships Education and are looking to progress into other research following these studies.

Hazel’s interests are around how we can create accessible and useful information and technologies, and how we can provide more equitable access to health care.

In her free time, Hazel enjoys playing escape rooms, roleplaying games and designing puzzles.

Tyne and Wear SLC member, Hazel Hyland, shown talking at an SLC event.

Hazel Hyland

Hi, I’m Hazel Hyland, a member of the Tyne and Wear Sight Loss Council. I joined the team so I can continue working to improve things for visually impaired people.’

I have many years of volunteering history behind me. This includes various roles with RNIB, THE VIP LOUNGE, Newcastle Vision Support, and the children’s ministry at Jesmond Parish Church. I have campaigned on a variety of issues from the Accessible information Standards for the NHS, to taking MPs on blindfold walks to highlight issues faced on a daily basis.

I’m not all work and no play. My hobbies include reading, listening to music, watching documentaries, socialising with friends, and spending time with my family.

Martin Kearney, Tyne and Wear SLC member, is sat at a table with two other delegates. They are all relaxed and smiling.

Martin Kearney

I’m Martin Kearney and I’m a Rehabilitation Officer for The Visually Impaired for Newcastle Social Services. I joined Tyne & Wear Sight Loss Council to help improve services for VI people across the region.

I have been living and working in the northeast for over 20 years.

Image of Graham Light, T&W Sight Loss Council member. Graham is seated. He is wearing a green and white checked shirt, wearing glasses, and smiling at the camera.

Graham Light

My name is Graham Light, l am 50 years of age and currently live on my own in the Benton area of Newcastle. When younger, l engaged in all forms of sport and worked as a Highways/ Environmental Engineer for a National Civil Engineering Consultancy in their Newcastle office.

At the age of twenty-one my career was permanently interrupted when l was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The subsequent surgery left me immobile on the right side of my body and visually impaired.

The personal struggle to seek to adapt and rebuild my life provided me with both invaluable experience and a drive to help others in the same or similar situations.

An integral part of my recovery effort included the continuance of my education and l managed to secure a BSc with honours.

My passion to improve the lives of visually challenged and the disabled lead me to be appointed a Trustee of Brainbox Acquired Head Injury Charity and a committed Volunteer for Tyne and Wear Sight Loss Council.

Headshot of Lee Cawkwell, taken from the side. He is looking forwards.

Lee Cawkwell

Lee was registered blind when he was 20, due to a hereditary condition called Leber’s Optic Neuropathy.

Lee has a long history of working alongside other visually impaired people in the region.  He has set up, and chaired, many support groups which include: The VIP Friendship Group, South Shields Visually Impaired Football Club, and VISTA Organisation (Visually Impaired South Tyneside Association.

A qualified social worker, Lee was also involved with setting up the VIEWS group (Visually Impaired Empowered Workers and Students) which was the first peer support group for working-aged visually impaired people in the area. He later set up a sub-group called Positive Views, which focussed on emotional and psychological wellbeing for visually impaired people.

Lee became a specialist social worker for visually impaired people in Newcastle, and was involved in several projects which attained local and national recognition. This included the Wylie Cards and Eye Wish Access.

Lee’s professional and voluntary work is consistent with his values as a visually impaired person and social care professional.

Lee believes in advocacy and empowerment, equal opportunities and social inclusion. He wants to address the numerous barriers VI people face, whether it’s environmental, policies and legislation, awareness, or disabling cultural representations.

Carly Tune

Coming soon!

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