Oxfordshire Association for the Blind announces new Chair of Trustees and new member of the Board

It is with excitement that Oxfordshire Association for the Blind (OAB) announces the appointment of their new Chair of Trustees, Guy Lawfull, and a new Trustee, Gurjeet Jutley.

Guy has been a Trustee of OAB since 2015 and was elected Vice-Chair in September 2016. He is now taking on the leadership of the Trustee board. As a visually impaired person for over 10 years, Guy has experienced first-hand the challenges and effects of sight loss.

Guy has been both a client of OAB and a volunteer for a number of years, firstly supporting OAB’s technology service and then running the ActivEyes Oxfordshire social group, which is a sports and social club for those with a Visual Impairment.

Guy says “I’m honoured to have been elected as the new Chair of OAB. Given the uncertain times in the country, things have been and remain tough for most charities and there are great challenges ahead to ensure the continued success of OAB. I relish this challenge and am committed to leading OAB in continuing to provide the excellent service to the Visually Impaired People of Oxfordshire for which the organisation is renowned.”

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Gurjeet Jutley has recently joined the Board of Trustees. Within this role, Gurjeet hopes to help the charity continue its fantastic work providing psychological and emotional support to those who have recently received a life-changing diagnosis of sight loss.

“It’s always a privilege, a pleasure and a heart-warming experience to be working with a charity that can provide full psychological, emotional and practical support to help patients manage and cope with their diagnosis. OAB delivers this to a high standard.”

The charity has been operating a sight advisory desk in Oxford Eye Hospital for the past 20 years and provides support and advice to around 600 patents every year. Gurjeet believes this is a lifeline for those who are struggling to adapt to sight loss.

“In the UK, someone finds out that they’re losing their sight every 15 minutes. This is a devastating diagnosis which, understandably can have a huge impact on a person’s life, yet many people don’t get the support they need. As Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, I often have to deliver the bad news to a patient. When this happens, I direct patients to the sight advisory desk who provide invaluable help and support to my patients when they need it the most. I’m committed to doing all I can to help them continue their invaluable work: it truly is a team effort .”

Always highly passionate about supporting the community and all aspects of eye health/education, Gurjeet has been a supporter of the OAB since he first started his position at Oxford Eye Hospital.

Over the years, he has been involved in various fundraising activities including the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge (which involved summiting the highest peak in England, Scotland and Wales over 24 hours) and more recently abseiling down the Women’s centre of the John Radcliffe Hospital with #TeamOAB which comprised staff, Trustees and supporters of OAB.

Commenting on Gurjeet’s involvement with the charity, Mark Upton (Client Services Manager for OAB) said:

“Gurjeet has long been an active supporter of the hard work we do here at the OAB. It’s always an absolute pleasure to fundraise alongside him and work to provide better support to those who need it the most.”

Gurjeet Jutley is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon based at Oxford University Hospital. Gurjeet has sub-speciality interest in complex cataract surgery and glaucoma. As the OUH’s glaucoma expert, he provides treatments including conventional glaucoma surgery (including trabeculectomy and tube surgeries) minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) and endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation laser treatments.

With a strong interest in teaching and volunteering, he runs monthly teaching sessions at the OAB, runs a department session for trainee and trained optometrists and works internationally and nationally as a speaker.

Guy and Gurjeet are both available for interview either in person or by phone.

Contact Mark Upton for more information on the details below:

01865 725595