Launched in March 2019, the Liverpool Sight Loss Council already has eleven members signed up and raring to go. Each volunteer has selected a priority area to focus on from our themes of Education, Employment, Technology, Transport, Sport & Leisure and Health & Social Care.

The Liverpool Sight Loss Council will be holding their first meeting in June 2019 and already have projects planned in the following areas:

  • Employment – The team are working in partnership with Bradbury Fields and Liverpool Football Club to deliver a training course on employment for people with sight loss. They are also planning an employment enlightenment day with workshops for employers to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • Health – The council are liaising with the Local Eye Health Network (LEHN). We hope to have a Sight Loss Council member represent the blind and partially sighted patient’s voice on their committee.
  • Transport – The council have been invited by Liverpool Transport Committee to deliver a workshop on inclusion.

 

Meet the Staff


Iain Mitchell

Image of Iain, Sight Loss Coucil managerIain is the Engagement Manager for the North West. With a long history in Education, as a lecturer and a Head of Department, Iain has also worked in Social Healthcare specifically with people with Autism and Learning Difficulties with associated challenging behaviours.

Iain’s life-long sight loss has never prevented him from doing anything he has set out to achieve. His goal for the Sight Loss Councils in the North West is to raise awareness of accessibility issues and influence positive change in his local area.

Meet the Council Members

Norma Williams

Image of Norma, Sight Loss Council member

Norma has over 25 years of experience in governance, both in community and strategic corporate leadership where I focused on social care and community development. She is interested in engaging with other visually impaired people like herself and feels that the only way change can happen is by being involved and part of the decisions that make a difference to blind and partially sighted people’s lives. Norma is keen to make organisations and partners aware of people's abilities rather than their disabilities.

 

 

Naomi Ditchfield

Image of Naomi, Sight Loss Council member

Naomi has been visually impaired since birth and has a Guide Dog called Dixie. She is a volunteer & Trustee at Bradbury Fields Rehabilitation Centre for Blind and Partially Sighted people in Liverpool. Naomi enjoys supporting Liverpool FC as a season ticket holder, even taking her Guide Dog to all of the home games. Her other hobbies include walking and hiking, tandem riding and visiting various places of interest. Naomi feels it is important to raise awareness of the issues facing blind and partially sighted people in their local areas.

 

Frank McFarlane

Image of Frank, Sight Loss Council member

Frank is completely blind and as a child attended Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool before moving on to Worcester College for the Blind. He studied in London and spent a career in teaching, working in a number of schools, but for the most part, with blind and partially-sighted children. Frank is still heavily involved in Education as Chairman of Governors of a C of E girls school, Vice-Chairman of a mixed school and Board Member for a Primary School.

His hobbies include playing the organ and piano in his local Church and aims to improve the quality of life for Visually Impaired people.

Matt Cliff

Image of Matt, Sight Loss Council member

Matt has been visually impaired all of his life as his sight has continually deteriorated. As a visually impaired person, Matt has competed in many sports events ranging from local, grass-roots level games right up to the international stage.  I was fortunate enough to be asked to represent England in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne back in 2006. 

In 2009, with a VI friend, Matt set up SAVI Northwest which aims to increase opportunities for sports and activities for visually impaired people as sport and physical activity has had a profoundly positive impact on his life.  Matt wanted to become a member of the Merseyside SLC as he has a lot to offer in the field of VI sport and would like others with sight loss to experience the social and physical benefits that he has.  Matt was very shy before participating in VI sport - he says you would not recognise him before he started competing! Matt is a proud father of three daughters and always strives to be an excellent role model to them.

Kelsey Dickman

Image of Kelsey, Sight Loss Council member

Kelsey is a technology enthusiast who went through mainstream education before losing her sight at quite a young age. She strongly believes that the advances in technology will make the world a better place for VI people. 

She has joined the Merseyside Sight Loss Council to help raise awareness of issues that VI people face on a daily basis and explore ways that technology can support people with sight loss to be more independent.

Hatti Dunn

Image of Kelsey, Sight Loss Council member

Hatti joined the Merseyside Sight Loss Council as she has extensive experience of Higher Education with sight loss.

She is currently studying for a PhD in Art Education and Visual Impairment at Liverpool John Moores University and works part-time as a Rehabilitation Assistant for DeafBlind Adults at Bradbury Fields.

Hatti is passionate about making a difference in the lives of those who are blind and partially sighted. In her free time she enjoys playing cricket for Wavertree and the UK Women's VI team.

Mick Spriggs

Image of Mick, Sight Loss Council member

Michael is originally  from Birmingham and moved to Liverpool 28 years ago. I have a condition called Stargardt disease meaning he lost his sight at the age of 11. He joined the Merseyside Sight Loss council to help all working age people with sight loss to find a way into employment, hoping that their experiences are more positive than his own. He believes that there are so many experienced and talented people out there who have a lot to offer. In his spare time Mick enjoys supporting Aston Villa FC.

 

Steve Mann

Image of Steve, Sight Loss Council memberSteve is passionate about improving the lives of blind and partially sighted people, which is why he has joined the Sight Loss Council. He believes that one of the biggest hurdles to people with sight loss living independent lives is the lack of accessible transport. For this reason, Steve is taking the lead on transport so he can use his knowledge and passion to improve services. As a blind person who has other physical disabilities, he knows first-hand the problems that blind and partially sighted people face when trying to get around.

One of Steve's main hobbies is politics. He enjoys listening to politicians and learning from others. He enjoys being able to ask the difficult questions and holding people to account.

Laura Kennedy

Laura has worked for the NHS for 15 years so brings a wealth of public sector experience to the sight loss council. She lost her sight overnight at the age of 31 so has a lot of insight into the barriers that people blind and partially sighted people can face. Laura is very passionate about making a difference due to the excellent support she received following her diagnosis.

Laura continues to work full time and in her spare time she enjoys reading, running, travelling and shopping.

Paul Tudor

Image of Paul, Sight Loss Council member

Awaiting bio

 

 

 

 

If you would like to collaborate with the Liverpool Sight Loss Council on a project, please get in touch.

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