RNIB appoints new chair following ‘challenging and defining period’

The RNIB has recruited Anna Tylor to lead its trustee board in the aftermath of a safeguarding and governance scandal that rocked the charity.

Tylor is currently chair of the Vision Foundation but will step down at the end of August to lead the trustee board at RNIB.

Her appointment follows a damning Charity Commission report in June following serious concerns about the RNIB’s Pears Centre children’s home in Coventry. The centre was rated as “inadequate” by Ofsted in 2017 and has since closed.

The regulator criticised the RNIB for “comprehensive failings of governance and oversight” over its handling of concerns around the centre. This included trustee committess that were meant to oversee its regulated homes not meeting for 10 months.

Tylor replaces Eleanor Southwood who has been chair of the RNIB for the past three years.

“It’s been a challenging and defining period in our 152-year history,” said Southwood.

“As I reach the end of my term as a trustee, I’m incredibly proud of the way RNIB is rising to meet today’s challenges and look forward to seeing the organisation go from strength to strength.”

Southwood will work with Tylor during a transition period over the summer, before she takes over in the autumn.

While at Vision Foundation, Tylor had overseen a transformation of the charity’s branding, strategy and finances.

“I am deeply honoured to be chosen as RNIB’s new chair and thrilled to be joining the organisation at such an interesting point in its history,” said Tylor.

“RNIB is uniquely positioned to support and campaign on behalf of blind and partially sighted people. RNIB will become more vital than ever in the coming months as we work to prevent the advances of the past two decades being rolled back by responses to the pandemic.

“I am looking forward to working with the RNIB Board of Trustees and with CEO Matt Stringer and his team to continue RNIB’s transformation into a dynamic, modern organisation that will meet these challenges head-on, delivering equal citizenship for blind and partially-sighted people.”

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