Our People

It is only through the enthusiasm, expertise and commitment of our staff, volunteers, executive leadership team and Board of trustees that we can deliver on our commitment to blind and partially sighted people.

Our Board of Trustees

We are governed by a Board of Trustees which has ultimate responsibility for the overall control of the charity.

Meet the Board

Close up of Mervyn Williamson

Mervyn Williamson, Chair of the Board

Mervyn is the Chair of the Board of Trustees. As a Chartered Accountant, he has served as Finance Trustee since 2006 and has been instrumental in reshaping the commercial side of the charity. Mervyn is the UK Managing Director and Officer of Travel and Transport Inc. as well as Treasurer and Executive Director of the Business Travel Association.

Head shot of Adam Youatt

Adam Youatt

Adam trained and practiced as a solicitor at Slaughter and May and Eversheds. Subsequently, he worked for a law firm in New Zealand, returning to become a Partner and Head of Property at Berryman before moving to his current role in the national law firm, Gateley Legal.

Had shot of Graham Findlay

Graham Findlay

Graham was appointed to our Board in July 2017. After being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at 22, he began working for the Grampian Society for the Blind, where he later returned as Chief Executive. Graham has worked as Chief Executive of North East Sensory Services, an independent local charity and the first integrated joint sensory service in Scotland, since 2009.

Head and shoulders photo of Helen Mitchell

Helen Mitchell

Helen has a wealth of experience in HR and currently works within the insurance division of a global data analytics and risk assessment firm. She joined the Board in March 2021.

Head shot of Louise Robertshaw

Louise Robertshaw

Starting her career as a national news journalist, Louise has used the skills and experience she gained to change attitudes and inspire action to challenge society and support great causes. She has worked in senior positions for charities with a focus on disability, including Guide Dogs, and is currently the Group Director for Engagement at Sense and Sense International.

Head and shoulders shot of Matt

Matt Wadsworth

Matt was the first blind student at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. He went on to study the lute at the Royal Academy of Music where he received the London Student of the Year award. Matt developed the app GoodFoodTalks which makes restaurant menus accessible to blind and partially sighted people. He became a trustee in March 2017.

Head shot of Raj Mehta

Raj Mehta

Raj joined the Board in December 2019 and, before his retirement, was a commercially focused experienced procurement and IT business leader with an excellent track record of delivering business results.

Head and shoulders photo of Robert Holl

Robert Holl

Robert joined the Board in March 2021. He works for Wellcome Trust’s Investment team, on its property portfolio. He also trained as a chartered accountant at Deloitte.

Head shot of Peter Richardson, Trustee

Peter Richardson

Peter has been Managing Director at Protiviti responsible for International Insurance business since January 2023 and was Chair of London Vision. He is a specialist in change management and operational transformation with a particular interest in culture change, possibly stemming from his interest in other peoples and cultures and linguistic skills (speaking French, German and Portuguese). He has acute retinal necrosis impairing the vision in his left eye.

Meet the Executive Leadership Team

Head and shoulders shot of Charles Colquhoun

Charles Colquhoun, Chief Executive Officer

Charles joined us in 2016 as Director of Resources and was appointed Chief Executive in 2018. He joined the Royal Mail graduate scheme in 1986 and his last role was Head of Corporate Finance at Post Office. He was also Treasurer for the Greater London Fund for the Blind (now called Vision Foundation). He graduated from Leeds University and qualified as an accountant in 1990.

Head and shoulders picture of Cathy Low looking at the camera and smiling

Cathy Low, Director of Partnerships

Cathy re-joined us as Director of Partnerships in May 2021 following four years as CEO of London Vision. She was previously Director of Stratford Renaissance Partnership and had various roles in Local Government, including partnerships, regeneration and community development. Cathy has lived experience of sight loss and was diagnosed with Stargardt disease as a teenager.

Read more on Cathy’s career. 

Reproduced by kind permission of Acuity and College of Optometrists.

Emma Hughes head and shoulders smiling

Emma Hughes, Director of Services

Emma has been at the forefront of the development and delivery of all our services. Since she joined us in 2008, she has influenced positive change across core areas as well as volunteering, technology, communications and special projects. Previously she led and delivered the Prince’s Trust Volunteers programme and was responsible for the development of services for young people including establishing the Millennium Volunteers programme at YMCA.

Head and shoulders picture of Louise, wearing a red scarf and smiling at the camera.

Louise Fairhurst

Louise qualified as an accountant 25 years ago working in the commercial sector until 2016. Since then she has done various roles at Thomas Pocklington Trust and other sight loss charities becoming Director of Resources  in 2020. She has two children.