Two bold missions, one dynamic new organisation
We’re excited to announce that Fight for Sight and Vision Foundation have merged. Both boards voted unanimously for us to come together and work as one organisation from 1 April 2023. United, we are the only UK grant-maker that changes lives through funding both scientific research and innovative services. We’ve put together this blog post to walk you through what it means for both organisations and our dynamic plans for the future…
A two-pronged approach
This merger will help us to realise a joint ambition to tackle sight loss from both a clinical and social perspective. Our combined organisation will be grounded in data and insight into the science, as well as the lived experience of, sight loss. With this wealth of evidence we’re determined to:
- leverage further investment into the sector,
- accelerate clinical progress,
- improve quality of life for people facing or living with sight loss
Crucially, coming together is about growing our influence and impact, not reducing or diluting what we do. So, over the next year we’ll be combining our teams, announcing our new name and fine-tuning our unified mission and strategy – as well as continuing with the important work we’re already committed to – so you can expect big things from us in the coming months…
Dynamic new leadership
Our new organisation will be led by Fight for Sight CEO, Keith Valentine. Keith is a strategic leader in the sight loss sector and a known force within government and industry. Keith also lives with sight loss and will bring authentic and impassioned leadership to the new organisation:
“I’m a long-standing supporter of Vision Foundation and have immense respect for all they achieve. Taking that incredible work – as well as our mission at Fight for Sight – onto the national stage is a very big deal. The impact we can have for people and families affected by sight loss across the country is immeasurable. This merger will enable us to grow our funding, which means a stronger, more impactful organisation for the years to come.”
Vision Foundation’s previous CEO, Olivia Curno has chosen to step away from the charity after 4.5 incredible years to take on a national Chief Executive role in the care sector:
“I am extremely proud of what Vision Foundation has achieved in recent years, and can’t think of a better next chapter than joining forces with Fight for Sight and taking our impact nationwide. Through this merger, we will have the expertise, talent and scale to go on to incredible things, all under the visionary leadership of Keith Valentine.”
Why merge now?
The clock is ticking on sight loss:
- Every six minutes someone in the UK is told they are losing their sight – that’s life-changing news that is dealt out 240 times each day.
- Sight loss in the UK is on the rise at a time of spiralling living costs, when health and social care services are struggling with demand.
- The amount of public money currently spent on the problem is nowhere near adequate – only 1.5% of UK medical research is invested into finding new ways to prevent, diagnose or treat sight loss. This equates to just £9.60 for each person whose life has been turned on its head by sight loss.
- If you’re a blind adult of working age in the UK, there is only a 1 in 4 chance that you’re working, and so visually impaired people can face the financial, social and mental impact of unemployment alongside their disability.
Clearly, the current lack of focussed investment in both research and support of people with sight loss comes at a hefty cost to the individual and to society. Our merger will help to tackle that, so we want to act fast.
Changing the world for visually impaired people.
Keith Valentine is driven and focussed, “Simply, our cause is too important to miss this opportunity. I’m thrilled to build on what we’ve already done as two separate charities to take us to the next level, because my goal for us is nothing short of changing the world for people with sight loss.”
Announced on BBC Radio 4’s In Touch with Peter White
In discussion with Olivia Curno and Keith Valentine, listen to Peter explore the vision for our dynamic new organisation:
Keen to find out more?
We’ve put together this list of FAQs for our grant recipients, donors and supporters, which we hope will cover the details surrounding the merger. If you have a specific query, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:
Telephone: 020 7620 2066