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Chair and Trustees – Vista


Vista logo

Become a key part of the board for the leading local sight loss charity in the United Kingdom. Vista are seeking a new Trustees to contribute their experience, expertise and insight to help the charity make a real difference at individual and community level, focusing on the needs of people affected by sight loss within the region.

  • Location: Leicester
  • Salary: Unremunerated with reasonable expenses
Vista worker helping with reading using magnifier

Vista is on the lookout for new Trustees – could you be the next member of the board?

Vista changes lives. It is the leading provider of services to children and adults affected by sight loss.

After three successful years, our current Chair, Louisa Hosegood, is stepping down from her role. We are now looking to recruit new trustees to strengthen our board, one of whom will be our new Chair.

With experience of chairing a board or committee, our new chair will have a successful track record of senior leadership.

Susan Hoath, CEO, said: “As well as providing effective and visible leadership internally, our chair will be an ambassador for Vista in our local communities and beyond, and will help us to realise our ambitions.

“We’re extremely proud of our Board of Trustees, who accept ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the charity, we are also looking for new Trustees who will provide strategic vision, innovation, scrutiny and challenge.”

Vista wants to hear from individuals from a range of backgrounds, including (but not exclusively), strategic finance; organisational development; clinical operations (particularly within the sight loss field); senior contracting or commissioning experience and lived experience of sight loss.

Vista is a local charity, and so it is important that our trustees have strong connections to the diverse communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Our trustees are volunteers, but reasonable expenses will be paid.

For a confidential discussion about the roles please contact:

Jennifer Horan07519 070497 | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk

Emma Harvey07702 678653 | emma@peridotpartners.co.uk

Closing date: 9am, Monday 4th November 2019

Vista is fully committed to equality of opportunity and diversity and we warmly welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates. We welcome applications regardless of disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, or age. All applications will be considered solely on merit.

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Emma Harvey

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Dear Candidate,

Louisa Hosegood, Chair of Trustees

Thank you for expressing an interest in Vista.

Every year, thousands of people are diagnosed with some form of untreatable sight loss that will affect their everyday lives and we aim to be there when it matters most, offering the right support at the right time. We know that without support, people are more likely to become isolated and lonely, affecting their employment, travel, social lives and activities, damaging their physical and emotional health and wellbeing.

Vista is the leading local charity supporting children and adults affected by sight loss and one of the largest such charities in the UK. We provide information, guidance, care and support at every stage of someone’s sight loss journey and whilst we are very proud of the work we do, we have ambition to grow and improve.

Our three key strategic objectives are:

  • To prevent avoidable sight loss
  • To reduce the impact of sight loss on individuals and their families
  • To provide care and support to people affected by sight loss.

During my tenure as Chair of Vista, we have grown considerably and we have worked hard to engage the people we support in conversations about our services, our organisation and our future. In 2018, we compiled the feedback from over 700 voices to form our high-level strategy, responding to the way in which they want us to work:

  • Being an enabling and facilitative organisation
  • Amplifying the voice of people affected by sight loss
  • Extending our reach to support more people.

We have also been exploring ways of working with and within different communities, responding to people’s needs and developing innovative models and evaluating our practice to grow evidence and share ideas. This has included our leading work on the Give and Take volunteering model (working with Brunel University) and testing ways to broker social value resources between contracted services and local communities.

The majority of our work happens in people’s homes and communities, but we also increasingly hear that there is a need to grow a sense of place and physical presence as the heart of a broader community of people affected by sight loss. After several years in development, we have now moved significantly forward with a proposed capital development that would offer a place for people affected by sight loss to find information, support, services, care and even a place to make their home. We already own this site and have started preparatory work. We are now developing the organisational and financial plans necessary if we are to realise the best value from this opportunity.

We recruited a new Chief Executive last year to lead the next phase of our development and realise our ambitions. Susan Hoath has a clear vision for the organisation and is working hard to move us forward and bring stakeholders on board to support our work. She and the rest of the team want a strong Chair to lead the board, and three additional Trustees, all of whom will bring their own passion and energy to our work and can strengthen our board at this important time.

I have enormously enjoyed my time with Vista and look forward to seeing what this organisation can achieve in future.

Louisa Hosegood
Chair of Trustees

Listening to the people we support

Thank you for expressing an interest in Vista. We are immensely proud of our charity which has achieved so much, but there is still so much to do.

In 2017, we conducted a listening exercise of ‘700 voices’ asking the people we support what they wanted Vista to be.

They told us:

“We want to be better served by an enabling and facilitative organisation supporting us to achieve.”

“We want an organisation that helps to amplify our voices through raising profile and increasing influence.”

“There is more to be done and there are more people to reach.”

A new strategic vision

In 2018, we published a new strategy vision, focusing on the above and deriving three core strategic objectives:

  • To prevent avoidable sight loss
  • To reduce the impact of sight loss
  • To provide care and support to people affected by sight loss.

These objectives underpin everything that we do.

Vista is the operating name of the Royal Leicestershire, Rutland and Wycliffe Society for the Blind, with its roots in two long-standing local organisations: The Leicester Association for Promoting the General Welfare of the Blind (est. 1859) and the Wycliffe Society for Helping the Blind (est. 1893). Throughout our 160 year history, we have provided support to people affected by sight loss to live, work and socialise more independently, and this work continues today.

Our services

Vista photography, man holding child

Information, advice, guidance and support are available at any and all points of contact with Vista and can include areas such as eye conditions, daily living aids, assistive technology, support services, benefits and concessions and sign-posting to a wide range of other local support. This is often the first point of contact that people have with us and could be online, over the phone or face to face through one of the other services or at pop-up placements or events.

Early Intervention (Hospital clinic support): We employ Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLO) who work alongside the ophthalmology teams to identify people affected by sight loss, support them through the formal process of registration and act as care coordinators to help them access other health, care and support services.

Vista member in discussion

Statutory Services (Adults): Vista is contracted by the local authorities to provide the Registration, Assessment and Rehabilitation services for people who are Sight Impaired (partially sighted) or Severely Sight Impaired (blind). The rehabilitation service includes the issue of Aids for Daily Living, individual needs assessment, training for independent living and mobility training.

Community Services: non-statutory support services for people affected by sight loss, their families, carers and communities. These tend to focus of providing opportunities to access leisure and social activities as well as offering training, information, advice and guidance. This could include personalised training to use smart phones or tablets, for example, or accessing sports activities.

Low Vision Service: commissioned by the NHS, this service hosts and supports an outreach service, led by specialist optometrists in Low Vision. Patients referred to the clinic by the hospital teams receive a detailed assessment, with time to talk about and understand their condition; dispensing and training on the use of magnifiers and other low vision aids and an assessment by a rehabilitation worker.

Services for Children and Young People: We have a specialist team who work with children and families in a variety of ways including:

  • Unique screening tools for early years and primary schools,
  • Children’s ECLO linking with the hospital teams and proving care coordination support for families
  • Family support networks and training with inclusive family activities
  • Children’s Habilitation and life skills
  • Peer mentors
  • Respite breaks

Residential Care (Older People): The Kathleen Rutland Care Home and New Wycliffe Care Home each cater for around 45 older people affected by sight loss and other disabilities, including people living with Dementia. Both are rated GOOD by the CQC.

Residential Care (Complex Needs): Vista also runs two specialist residential care homes for adults of all ages with complex health and care needs. Applegarth is home to five people and Simmins Cresent supports up to 15 people in three purpose-designed bungalows. Both are rated GOOD by the CQC.

Leicester Ageing Together: Vista hosts and leads this part of the national lottery funded Ageing Better programme. The LAT team develop and test ways to bring people together in their communities, tacking barriers and providing advice and support to volunteers and community leads to create sustainable new community groups. This includes making Leicester communities more accessible for all and is supported by the Leicester City Council through Social Value schemes.

Work.Live.Leicestershire: WiLL is a Building Better Opportunities funded scheme to provide keyworker support to help people living in rural areas into education, vocation or employment. Vista is hosting and leading this 18-month funded programme.

How we are funded

In 2010, the Board identified a significant risk to the charity was our dependence upon funding from public sector commissioners (through contracts and grants) and resolved to change this. After a significant programme of growth and realignment, this funding stream is now less than 10% of our annual income.

The majority of our income and expenditure is associated with the residential services at our four care homes.

How we spend our money

Like many service-based charities, the majority of our expenditure (62%) is on salaries, with the bulk of the remaining cost being the infrastructure to support these staff and the services that they deliver.

The charity has reported slight surpluses in recent years and closed 2018/19 in a break-even position.

Further details of our income and expenditure can be found in the documents at the bottom of this page.

Our Governance Structure

The Directors of the charitable company are its trustees for the purposes of charity law. Trustees nominate the Chair and have the power to co-opt further members to fulfil specialist roles or to appoint to fill vacancies between Annual General Meetings.

Such specialist advisors are appointed based on their direct and professional experience in areas of specific interest (e.g. clinical eye care, dementia, etc.). These roles do not replace but complement the existing professional guidance available to the trustees through our legal, financial and other appointed advisors.

One third of the board is elected by members at the Annual General Meeting and each trustee serves for a period of three years before seeking re-election. Trustees can normally serve for a maximum of 12 years. The board can consist of up to fifteen trustees and met formally four times between April 2018 and March 2019.

New trustees are appointed through an open recruitment process using a skills matrix to ensure that they have the skills needed to fulfil their role and provide support, challenge and guidance to the organisation.

The board is supported by two standing committees, an Operations Committee and a Finance Committee. Trustees also provide oversight through membership of designated working groups and partnership boards addressing specific areas of our work.

A forum of people who use our services, chaired by a visually impaired person, meets regularly to support the board of trustees in fulfilling its governance by providing feedback, guidance and a consultation mechanism.

Leadership Team

The trustees delegate the day-to-day management, the development of strategy and the overall leadership of the charity to the Chief Executive and Leadership Team. To facilitate effective operations, the Chief Executive has delegated authority, within terms of delegation approved by trustees, for operational matters including finance and employment.

Our leadership team comprises:

Susan Hoath, Chief Executive Officer

Glynn Rees-Jones, Director of Finance and Resources

Stephen (Steve) Payne, Director of Operations

Kate Naish, Director of Income Generation

Our workforce is organised into teams within these directorates and against two hosted programmes funded by the National Lottery: Leicester Ageing Together (part of the Better Ageing Programme) and Work Live Leicestershire (a Building Better Opportunities project).

Susan Hoath, Chief Executive Officer

Susan Hoath

Glynn Rees-Jones, Director of Finance and Resources

Glynn Rees-Jones

Steve Payne, Director of Operations

Steve Payne

Kate Naish, Director of Income Generation

Kate Naish

Our future plans

Whilst we are extremely proud of the work we do (some examples of which are given in the previous section), we know that there is much more to do.

  • Leicester Forest East development
  • Ageing Better
  • Early Years and Primary Schools
  • Education, Vocation and Employment (EVE)
  • Rocket Fuel
  • Growing Digital
  • Responding to a changing community
  • Volunteers

More information about the future plans

Key links:

Vista website
Meet the team: Trustees
Meet the team: Senior Management
Financial overview and key facts 2018-19
Annual report 2017-18
Articles of Association

To access a full job description and application details,
please fill out the form below.


Please download the Role Description and Person Specification for the Chair and Trustee role; board meeting dates; Fit and Proper person declaration; Candidate Information Pack; and fill out this Equality Monitoring Form

If you would like an informal conversation around the role, or if you or someone you know, would like this candidate information in an email, in Braille, large print, Easy Read transcription or audio tape, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Jennifer Horan | 07519 070497 | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk

Emma Harvey | 07702 678653 | emma@peridotpartners.co.uk

For all roles, we are particularly keen to attract individuals based within the region, or who have strong local connections; as well as seeking individuals who represent the diversity of our local community.  We are determined that Vista is driven by people affected by sight loss and are therefore keen to encourage applications from blind and partially sighted people.

Vista is fully committed to equality of opportunity and diversity and we warmly welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates. We welcome applications regardless of disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, or age. All applications will be considered solely on merit.

To apply, please submit a CV and a supporting statement (the supporting statement should be a maximum of two sides of A4). The supporting statement should clearly outline your suitability for the role against the criteria in the person specification, and explain your motivation for applying for the role, including details of what you hope to get out of volunteering for Vista as a Chair/Trustee.

In addition, please complete the attached Fit and Proper Persons Declaration and return with your application.

Please ensure that your application (CV, supporting statement and Fit and Proper Persons Declaration) is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Chair/Trustees, Vista” into the subject field.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process, to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job. Please note that all equality monitoring surveys are completely anonymous, so if you would like to contact us as a disabled applicant, to make us aware of potential operational difficulties, adjustments or support, then please email: emf@peridotpartners.co.uk.

Vista is signed up to the Disability Confident Scheme and offers a guaranteed interview for disabled candidates who meet all the essential criteria for the role they are applying for.

Please note that these appointments are subject to satisfactory DBS checks.

Please make a note of the interview dates as these dates cannot be changed.


Chair recruitment milestones:
Closing date: 
Monday 4th November 2019
Interviews at Vista: TBC

Closing date: 
Monday 30th September
Interviews (conducted by Vista): Tuesday 5th November

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and Vista are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete equality monitoring form.

The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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