Board of Trustees
A retired Senior Manager in the Health Service having qualified as a nurse and midwife. She has over 40 years NHS experience. She has successfully run her own business, specialising in service transformation. She has been a Trustee for HVL and another charity since 2015. Additionally she works with the St Albans and Harpenden Patients Group, St Albans and District Council Health and Wellbeing Partnership, Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group, and West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust as a patients’ representative and Parish Council on planning issues. She also has a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration.
A degree-qualified electrical engineer who spent an impressive 40 years in the defence industry, with a notable 33 of those years at British Aerospace/MBDA in Stevenage. During his career, John expertly managed multi-site teams and budgets, while also fulfilling various technical design roles. After retiring in 2013, John decided to give back by volunteering for a charity. As someone with Macular Degeneration, John has a deep understanding of the daily struggles faced by those with sight impairments. His personal experiences give him a unique perspective on the role that the charity plays in supporting individuals with similar challenges.
A retired finance director with several years’ experience in working with large organisations to support financial turnaround. Paul had given support with the financial operations over the last few years.
Richard has global experience of working in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. From 2002 to 2011 he was the Executive Director of Abbeyfield International, the charity which provides affordable sheltered housing and extra care homes for the elderly around the world. Prior to this, Richard had a 30-year career in the IT company IBM, where he worked in marketing, finance and sales operations for the firm in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Birmingham.
John Warner Smith
A retired GP with over 30 years’ experience. During his time working in a Stevenage practice, he had particular responsibility for purchasing or commissioning healthcare for patients, beginning with GP Fundholding and later working with CCGs, PCTs and Locality Groups. He kept the accounts for the practice for 20 years, being also responsible for maximising (and then keeping to) healthcare budgets.
Alison is a part-time Orthoptist for Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust eye services in St Albans and Hemel Hempstead, and a Herts Vision Loss hospital volunteer. She has worked as an Orthoptist for over 12 years in various hospitals across the UK and has a particular interest in low vision and learning disabilities. In the past, she has also worked with the charity Sense and at Lakeside SLD School in Welwyn Garden City, supporting individuals with sight and hearing impairments.
Ras initially started his career in software consultancy after studying Physics. He has a successful history of Project management consultancy service for a variety of organisations, including not for profit, international business, and commercial businesses. Raj has supported many voluntary organisations and was the previous Chairman of St Albans Good Neighbour Scheme, where he has volunteered for over 10 years. Raj in active in local politics and in the St Albans community. Most interestingly he is Regional Head of the French Wine Society in the UK!
David has over 40 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has lived in Hertfordshire for over 30 years. He is married with two grown-up children and currently is managing director of his own pharmaceutical consulting business. David has previously held a position as a school governor in Cheshunt and more recently has been a volunteer during the Covid pandemic doing a range of roles from packing food parcels to helping out at Covid vaccination centres. He hopes to make a valuable contribution to HVL using his experience in both the business and commercial world. In addition to his volunteer work in his spare time David enjoys cycling, football, golf and building Lego!
Vision Loss Advisor (Central)
Vanessa has worked for HVL for nearly six years and thoroughly enjoys her work. She is a bright, receptive person and supportive towards people who suffer from any disability. Vanessa is a good listener and is able to communicate well with people from all walks of life. She has a grown-up family and grandchildren to keep her busy. She is a lover of the outdoors, especially walking.
Fundraising & Network Coordinator
Hi, I am Karen Utteridge and I have recently joined Herts Vision Loss as their new Finance Officer. I work part time and am a busy mum of 3 girls.
Nim joined the team at HVL as a volunteer counsellor a service aimed at providing emotional support to all those affected by vision impairment. She soon joined the staff at HVL and her referral rates continue to grow.
Vision Loss Advisor & CVI
Administrator & Volunteer Coordinator
Chief Executive Officer