The Board of Herts Vision Loss is comprised of voluntary, unpaid Directors/Trustees who give of their time freely to ensure that the Society (we remain a Society even though the name has changed) is given strategic direction and that its work is regularly reviewed.

Without its Directors/Trustees, Herts Vision Loss could not operate as a limited company. The Directors are appointed by our Members at the company Annual General Meeting. The current Board Directors, along with short biographies are listed below:

John Warner-Smith (Chairman)

John is retired after spending 30 years as a General Practitioner in Stevenage. During that time he had particular responsibility for purchasing or commissioning healthcare for patients, beginning with GP Fundholding and later working with PCGs, PCTs and Locality Groups and Health Authorities. John spent much of his time trying to maximize (and then keep to) healthcare budgets. He hopes that his experience can be put to good use by the Herts Vision Loss. John has been a trustee of the society for two years and looks forward to the challenge of being chairman.




Keith Harding

Keith is an ex-Corporate Bank Manager and Business Consultant, who has been involved at Board level in charities for the last 10 years and currently volunteers for Oxfam.





Alex Hickinbotham

Alex has spent a successful and varied career in the NHS as a nurse, midwife and progressed to a senior level in health service management. She is now working on a consultancy basis in strategic planning and service redesign of health. She is a qualified nurse (RN) and midwife (RM) and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA). Her key skills cover strategic planning, change and project management, financial control, business planning, governance and health and safety. In addition she has several years experience as a carer for a user of the society.



Helen O’Kelly

Helen joined the board of Herts Vision Loss as a Trustee and Director in late 2013, having been a volunteer for the Charity since 2011. Helen has a wealth of experience in the field of eye health. She qualified as an Optometrist in 1992. She later went on to become Director of Clinics at City University, London – with responsibility for the clinical training of optometry undergraduates and the public clinics. She also established a Department of Health funded research network called EyeNET, which sponsored primary care based, multi-disciplinary eye-related research.




Richard Seaman

Richard was an Executive Director and Senior Manager with global experience in both the commercial and not for profit sectors. He was the Executive Director of Abbeyfield International, based in St Albans, who provided affordable sheltered housing and extra care homes until he took semi-retirement in early 2011. He is a Batchelor of Commerce, specialising in Management Economics and has acquired relevant experience and qualifications during his 30 year career at IBM including finance and planning, ISO9000 and the re-branded Abbeyfield International, as well as running two global conferences.




Paul Taylor

Paul qualified as an accountant in the UK,then worked for several years in accountancy in the Middle East, and followed this with a career as a finance director in several small to medium sized companies, spanning 30 years, before he retired in 2013.





John PageĀ 

John is a degree-qualified electrical engineer and has spent 40 years working in the defence industry, the last 33 of those being at British Aerospace/MBDA in Stevenage, before retiring in 2013. During his time at work, he managed multi-site teams and budgets as well as performing technical design roles. Shortly after retiring, John joined the Society as a Volunteer to produce and maintain their new website, before moving on to provide IT support for service users in their homes and one-to-one training in the use of talking software. John has Macular Degeneration and coping with this gives him a good understanding of the day-to-day problems people with sight impairment have and the role the Society has to play in supporting them.