Worcestershire: Meet the Members

Meet the Staff

Image shows Louise Connop, Senior Engagement Manager, smiling at the camera. She is wearing sungkasses.

Louise Connop

Louise Connop is the Senior Engagement Manager (Central).  She has been registered Sight Impaired since birth and Severely Sight Impaired from the age of seven.

Louise enjoys spending time with her two young children and generally living life to the full, travelling and socialising with her friends and family.  She is extremely passionate about raising awareness of visual Impairment (VI) and educating and encouraging the wider world to understand how to become more VI friendly.

Previously Louise worked in marketing, the public sector and ran the Low Vision Department at the Beacon Centre for the Blind in Wolverhampton.

“With the right attitude and support network, we can all achieve whatever we put our minds to” is a phase that Louise uses often. Come along and see what we are all about.

Ashleigh Bryant, SLC co-ordinator for Central England. Ashleigh is looking at the camera, smiling broadly. She has long brown hair

Ashleigh Bryant

Ashleigh Bryant is the Sight Loss Council Co-ordinator for the West Midlands.

Along with SLC members, Ashleigh helps represent the voice of blind and partially sighted people, supporting them to raise awareness for a more accessible and equal world.

Previous to working in the sight loss sector, she worked in the NHS supporting adults with learning disabilities and mental health.

In her spare time, she enjoys socialising with friends, going to the gym and travelling around the world!

Meet the Council members

Head shot of Worcestershire Sight Loss Council member, Ed Jackson. He has short dark hair and is wearing a white shirt. He is facing the camera, smiling.

Edward Jackson

Edward is friendly and enthusiastic, always smiling in the face of adversity.

In 2020, Edward lost his sight due to an ‘Occipital Lobe Stroke’. This significantly changed his life and as a result, he wants to share his experiences to help others.

In his spare time, Edward is an avid gardener and loves nature.

headshot of Millie Hayter, Worcestershire SLC member. Millie has short dark hair, is wearing sunglasses, and is smiling at the camera.

Millie Hayter

Millie was born with sight loss in her right eye, but over the years her sight has deteriorated in both eyes. Millie has Nystagmus and Coloboma in her left eye. At 19 she had a detached retina and started experiencing night blindness. Now in her 30s, Millie has glaucoma and struggles to focus, however she is able to see perception and shadows.

Millie likes to keep active and take part in sports. She is a member of Worcester Warriors and likes to play blind rugby. She enjoys being part of a team and has travelled to Scotland and Spain to take part in rugby cups. Millie is a qualified PT and sports massage therapist and enjoys working out for both her physical and mental wellbeing. Millie enjoys the outdoors and has taken part in the 3 peaks challenge to raise money for Guide Dogs.

Jo Webber

Coming soon!

Headshot of Worcestershire SLC member, Keith Cairns. He is wearing a navy polo shirt, and smiling at the camera.

Keith Cairns

Keith has advanced glaucoma and is registered severely sight impaired. He lives in Kidderminster in Worcestershire.

Keith is a co-opted governor of a local high school.

Keith joined Worcestershire Sight Loss Council because he wants to improve awareness of the issues faced by people with a visual impairment. Keith wants to work with local companies in the community to attempt to find solutions to any issues raised.

Lee Greatbatch

Coming soon!

Photo of Val Humphries, Worcestershire SLC member. She is seated, smiling at the camera.

Val Humphries

Val was born with partial sight, and registered blind when she was in her 30’s. She moved to the West Midlands in 2008, and to Worcestershire in 2013.

Val has worked and volunteered in the sight loss sector for over 30 years. She currently works for a national charity and is responsible for volunteer training and development.

She is a qualified rehabilitation officer and has previously worked as an adult education teacher, advice worker, and ECLO. Val is involved with several local community groups in her area. She enjoys cooking, gardening, music, and looking after her five rescue cats.

Val is a passionate campaigner, especially around employment and rehabilitation services. One of her biggest concerns is the lack of joined-up public transport in Worcestershire. She is especially concerned by the lack of buses and post Covid cuts on the Worcester to Birmingham route.

Ella, Worcestershire SLC member. She is outside, looking sideways at the camera, smiling.

Ella Abel

Ella became visually impaired in her 30s due to optic neuropathy. She enjoys being creative and picked up painting after losing her sight.

Ella works in higher education, designing online services and managing data.

Ella says: “So much of the world isn’t designed for the visually impaired. I’m excited to be part of the solution by joining my local Sight Loss Council.”

Laura Collett

Coming soon!

Colin Shales

Coming soon!

Uzma Karlena

Coming soon!

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