Sight loss charities to merge

Fight for Sight and Vision Foundation are to merge in April.

The decision has been voted for unanimously by the boards of both charities, which offer grants to tackle sight loss and support blind and partially sighted people.

London’s Vision Foundation supports projects for those with sight loss and was set up in 1921 as The Greater London Fund for the Blind. It has handed out more than £30m to sight loss organisations.

Meanwhile, Fight for Sight launched in 1965 and funds scientific research into sight loss.

The merged charity will continue to have “both a clinical and social perspective”.

“Crucially, the combined organisation will be grounded in data and insight, both into the science and lived experience of sight loss,” added the charity.

Fight for Sight chief executive Keith Valentine, who lives with sight loss, will lead the new organisation.

“I’m a long-standing supporter of Vision Foundation and have immense respect for all it achieves,” said Valentine.

“Taking that incredible work – as well as our mission at Fight for Sight - onto the national stage is a very big deal. The impact we will deliver for people and families affected by sight loss across the country is immeasurable. This merger will also enable us to grow our funding, which means a stronger, more impactful organisation for the years to come.”

Vision Foundation chief executive Olivia Curno will not be part of the new organisation and is set to take on a senior care sector role.

“I am incredibly proud of what the Vision Foundation has achieved in recent years and can’t think of a better next chapter than joining forces with Fight for Sight and taking our impact to a national stage,” said Curno.

“Through this merger, we will have the expertise, talent and scale to go on to incredible things, all under the visionary leadership of Keith Valentine.”

According to latest Charity Register accounts, Vision Foundation’s total income was £2.2m in the year ending March 2022 and its spending was £2.16m.

Latest financial records for Fight For Sight, for the year ending March 2021, show its income was £6.42m, while its expenditure was £4.15m

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