Our Trustees

Oxfordshire Association for the Blind is fortunate to have a committed board of trustees who volunteer their professional job skills and experiences to aid the charity’s development:

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Professor Adrian Hill


Adrian is a longstanding Trustee, former Chair and Vice-Chair and, since September 2016,
President of OAB.

A Professor of Optometry and former Head of Optometry at the Oxford Eye Hospital, Adrian’s experience of working with people with Sight Impairment and his clinical knowledge has been invaluable in the development of the Association.

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Guy Lawfull

Chair of Trustees

Guy became a Trustee of OAB in November 2015. He was elected as Chair of Trustees in September 2019, having previously served as Vice-Chair.

He has wide experience in commercial environments, primarily within IT and marketing research, resulting in an extensive understanding of the business issues faced by the charity sector today. As a long-time volunteer for OAB he also has a deep working knowledge of the organisation at all levels.

Guy is Severely Sight Impaired and as such brings to the Board a personal understanding of the issues confronted by someone with a Visual Impairment.

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Edward Pilling

Vice-Chair of Trustees

Edward was elected to the OAB Board in September 2011.

He has been a Solicitor in Oxford since 1972, opening his own practice in 1992. Edward and his family have been heavily affected by Visual Impairment. His father had Macular Degeneration and his mother had diphtheria in her youth which left her Visually Impaired; the help given to her by OAB provided Edward’s initial contact with the charity. In addition, Edward, his wife and his sister have all received treatment from Oxford Eye Hospital.

Edward provides the Board with assistance on legal issues and forms a valuable link
to other legal expertise.

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Robin Birch


A Co-Patron of the OAB since 2011, Robin was invited by the Board to become a Trustee and the Treasurer in December 2018.

After a career in Whitehall (administration and financial management of health, social services and social security) he has had extensive experience in the management of voluntary services in Oxfordshire since 1995. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire from 1996 until retiring in 2014.

When Chair of Age Concern England he was invited by the RNIB to chair a Low Vision Services Implementation Group to carry forward their work of securing practical integration of such services at a local level. The result was the creation of many local ‘Low Vision Groups’,
of which OAB forms a part in Oxfordshire.

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Margaret Simpson


Margaret was elected to the OAB Board in September 2010.

At that time she was a Non-Executive Director with Oxford Primary Care Trust as well as maintaining her work in the local voluntary sector. Margaret’s career was person-centred, managing the provision of various services through Education, Social Care, Supported Housing and the voluntary sector.

She continues to be involved locally through her support for OAB and other local service providers. Margaret is also Chair of Oxtalk (Oxford & District Talking Newspaper for the Blind)

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Yvonne Rainey


Yvonne became a Trustee in 2014.

Her interest in becoming a Trustee was primarily due to her eldest daughter being Severely Sight Impaired. OAB provided a wealth of information and support for her family.

Yvonne is an experienced major gifts fundraiser, having worked as a Director of Development at the University of Oxford for nearly twenty years. Yvonne brings to the Board both fundraising expertise and a clear understanding of the issues faced by Sight Impaired children and their families.

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Simon Cruden


Simon was elected as a Trustee at OAB in September 2012.

He has been Severely Sight Impaired since the age of 22 as a result of a brain tumour and therefore has a very personal understanding of adjusting and adapting to life with Sight Loss.

Simon has a particular interest and empathy in supporting children who have a Visual Impairment. He regularly volunteers at the Oxford Children’s Hospital, where he entertains and supports the young people with his magic shows and balloon modelling. He is also an active member of
a number of the support groups run n OAB.

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Mr Gurjeet Jutley


Gurjeet joined the OAB Board of Trustees in September 2019.

He is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon based at Oxford Eye Hospital. Gurjeet has a sub-speciality interest in complex cataract surgery and glaucoma. As the glaucoma expert within Oxford University Hospitals, he provides treatments including conventional glaucoma surgery (including trabeculectomy and tube surgeries), Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) and endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (CFC) laser treatments.

With a strong interest in teaching and volunteering, Gurjeet gives educational talks at OAB, organises departmental training sessions for trainee and qualified optometrists at Oxford Eye Hospital and is an internationally and nationally renowned speaker.

Gurjeet has been a keen supporter of OAB since his appointment in Oxford, completing a number of fundraising challenges for the charity, including the Three-Peaks Challenge and an abseil from the roof of the John Radcliffe Hospital.

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Janet Johnson


Janet joined the OAB Board in March 2021.

Having a career in education and services supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities across Oxfordshire, Janet offers a wealth of knowledge, expertise and management skills to OAB.
Following her retirement in 2018 and inspired by people with visual impairment on a walking holiday in Bulgaria, she became involved with OAB as a volunteer. She has been involved in social and activity groups and the befriending service as well as organising fundraising events.

Janet has a lifelong commitment to supporting individuals with disabilities, through active, social and public service.

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Julian Bagwell


Julian became a Trustee at OAB in March 2021.

Julian has a son who is Sight Impaired, has been a member of OAB for some years and has taken a keen interest in the fortunes of OAB.

He has had a long business career, focusing on strategy and its implementation, in both large and small enterprises. He was formerly a partner in a major accounting and consulting firm and more recently has been running his own consultancy business.

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