More than 100 people gathered at Leyland Civic Centre on Friday to hear from charity bosses and inspirational speakers at Galloway’s AGM and conference.
Blind adventurer, Miles Hilton-Barber, Chair of the RNIB, Ellie Southwood, South Ribble MP, Seema Kennedy together with bosses and staff from Galloway’s delivered a series of informative and inspiring talks.
Galloway’s CEO, Stuart Clayton, called for greater collaboration across the sight loss sector which he said would enable charities to provide more support to visually impaired people. Mr Clayton said: “We, are part of an incredible sector that changes lives. We plug the gaps and we walk hand in hand with people who need us most. “A gentleman once told me, ‘one of the things I miss the most is seeing the joy on the faces of my grandchildren when they open their presents at Christmas’. “This humbling conversation stuck in my mind and drives me to want to make a difference to even more people affected by the devastation that sight loss can cause. “Recently, a number of sight loss charities across Lancashire and Cumbria got together to talk about the possibility of greater cooperation. “The sector must be open to working together, to sharing expertise and resources; to focus less on individual interests and more on the benefits that working together will bring. That, I believe, is where the future lies.”
Simon Booth, who recently became the Chairman of Galloway’s, praised the commitment and passion of the Galloway’s team. Mr Booth said: “When you work in the charity sector you want your team not just to turn up to work and go home. You want them to be passionate committed and believe in the work they do. “The staff and volunteers at Galloway’s go the extra mile on a daily basis to ensure the best possible outcomes for people living with sight loss. “I would like to thank the management, staff, volunteers and the trustees for all their hard work and support which makes such a big difference to the lives of so many people.”
Chair of the RNIB, Ellie Southwood who spoke at the event said the conference had been a huge success. She said: “What a fantastic event! I was delighted to be able to meet staff and volunteers from Galloway’s and to hear about their exciting plans for the future. “I’m looking forward to Galloway’s and the RNIB continuing their work together for the benefit of all.”
Members of the audience were inspired after hearing from motivational speaker and blind adventurer, Miles Hilton-Barber. Mr Hilton-Barber, who lost his sight in his twenties following a diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa, challenged himself to extreme endurance events across all seven continents including mountaineering, desert and polar ultra-marathons. He said: “I’m very privileged to have been able to speak here. I think that Galloway’s is one of the most forward thinking charities dealing with visual impairment in the UK.”