Newsletter Page 3

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Memories of Ron

A tribute to Ron Sears: 9th December 1932 to 27th January 2018.

It is with much sadness that we learned of the passing of our dear friend Ron Sears. I first met Ron eleven years ago on my initial visit to the vibrant VIVA Club (Vision Impaired Visually Active). Ron was very welcoming and as Chairperson of the Club was clearly ensuring that the sight impaired members were being well catered for, with regular informative meetings and a friendly supportive environment.

Ron was keen that he, the Club and O A B worked together for the benefit of sight impaired people. Ron was always available to give advice and help, and this was much appreciated given Ron’s long experience of his own sight impairment and also his long career working as a fundraiser, with a large area to cover, for the Royal National Institute of Blind People. As a marker of his success, Ron was the first fundraiser in the South West District to raise £100,000 in a year! Ron was a very dedicated and determined person who demonstrated what could be achieved in spite of total blindness.

Ron travelled around extensively and I remember that when I arrived at O A B, he was the first blind person to be regularly sending me email messages and I often referred to this when giving talks about what sight impaired people are able to do. I enjoyed spending time with Ron and his wife, Margaret and I particularly liked his keen sense of humour. Most of all, I admired his determination to do everything possible to assist sight impaired people to have the best opportunities in life. I will miss him very much. Colin.

Meet Rosia

Hello. My name is Rosia Curtis and I recently joined O A B as a Fundraising Officer. I am mainly working on applications to trusts and foundations but I will also be involved in events, community fundraising and marketing. I’ve been working here since November and I absolutely love it! O A B is such an inspiring organisation to work for and it is also exceptionally welcoming and friendly. Prior to joining O A B, I was working as a trust fundraiser for another local charity, and also as a freelance writer and editor. I still do some freelance work – mainly as a biographer for a company called Story Terrace. I also have two young sons who keep me busy!

I’ve previously worked for a number of charities. I’ve worked with people who are bereaved, with the traveller community and with adults with learning disabilities. However, I hadn’t worked in the field of visual impairment before. I’m really appreciating learning more about it from staff and clients, and also learning about all the assistive equipment and technology that is available.

We are really busy in the fundraising team. There is a lot happening and a lot is planned. I think it’s a really exciting time for O A B as we begin our rebrand and seek to develop and expand a number of our services – technology training, support for children and families, and community outreach.

I really love writing and it feels like a privilege to write about all the great things that are going on at O A B (and even more so when we are able to get funding!). I’m really looking forward to our work as we go forward and I hope that we will have some big successes and developments to report on.

Thank you so much for making me feel so welcome!