Heather is a retired Chartered Physiotherapist, her Clinical specialty being Pain Management. She has been a Senior Manager in both Professional and General Management in Provider and Commissioning Organisations within the NHS. She has considerable experience in change management in both professional practice and in NHS service delivery.
Heather has been visually impaired since the age of 21 and, prior to this, had trained and practiced as a Psychiatric Nurse. She is also a Trustee of Pain Concern, a Charity for people with long term pain and is a Volunteer Speaker for Guide Dogs.
Heather is interested in promoting and ensuring the involvement of visually impaired people in decision-making and delivery of relevant services as well as the attainment of equal partnership with sighted people in general.
Heather's other interests include dancing, travel and reading.
Amar Shah is an Optometrist with his own practice as a Boots Opticians franchise in Keynsham, Bristol. He has worked with visually impaired clients for all of his professional career especially through close links with the RNIB. Amar also works one day a week in the eye department at Royal United Hospital in Bath. He is chair of the Avon Local Optical Committee and works nationally with the Local Optical Committee Support Unit as an Optical lead. He has been a trustee of two children’s charities and has always had an active volunteering role. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his young family and when not with them getting out on his bike or running.
Lauren currently manages a nationwide service supporting people with arthritis for the charity Versus Arthritis. Previous experience includes nearly 10 years with vision impairment charities in roles ranging from fundraising and service marketing to programme management. Her most recent role as England Vision Strategy Regional Manager gave her a working understanding of the NHS, Public Health, social services and the wider charity sector. As well as being a trustee for Vision West of England, she also volunteers as a mentor with the Small Charities Coalition. Lauren lives in Bristol with her young family and loves gardening and reading.
Simon is a specialist in communication and engagement. Either in-house or running a consultancy he has supported the communication needs of different organisations - be that media relations, public affairs, stakeholder engagement, social media management or some mix of all of these.
This work covers commercial and not for profit organisations and how they can effectively engage with different audiences and stakeholders to deliver their objectives. For several years Simon has worked, and continues to work, with Goalball UK, the national governing body for the sport specifically developed for people that are blind or that have a visual impairment.
He is married with two adult sons.
Simon is keenly interested in current affairs and is also an enthusiastic sports fan. An unremarkable playing career is now largely replaced by coaching football as he is convinced of the great value that can follow from participation in sport (as a participant, volunteer, or coach).
Nick Grinham- Chair
Nick is a retired business leader who has lived in North Wiltshire for most of his life. He has extensive experience in leading large and diverse teams across the world. He has worked in the retail, publishing and oil and gas sectors, holding senior leadership positions in Human Resources, business strategy and transformation and Information Technology. Throughout his career he has promoted and passionately advocated for inclusion in all forms in the workplace. Nicks hobbies include travel, walking and sports (especially football and cricket). He is married with two adult daughters.
Carl is the Operational Director at Gloucestershire Newmedica, a company providing acute and community ophthalmology services in Gloucestershire and Wilsthire. Carl lives in Malmesbury and is also a trustee of Wiltshire Sight.