Trustee - Optometrist or other eye health professional

Location: Meetings held in London and Gatwick

Founded in 1985, Vision Aid Overseas has been helping some of the poorest people in the world to see more clearly. Whether you are a teacher in Ghana, a seamstress in Zambia or a school pupil in Ethiopia, poor eyesight can have a devastating impact on your life and livelihood.

We are seeking a new Trustee, who will be an Optometrist, or other eye health professional, working in or alongside public health (ideally with programmes experience in Africa), to join our Board of Trustees.

This is an opportunity to help shape the fortunes of a charity whose work is transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across Africa. We have ambitious plans in our new strategy 2020-2030, to reach many more people, both in those countries where we currently operate and in new locations and through new partnerships.

We are looking for Trustees who are interested and committed to the aims of Vision Aid Overseas and would like to join a dynamic, welcoming Board. All will have governance responsibility for overseeing the affairs of the charity and ensuring it is solvent, well-run with thorough safeguarding procedures in place and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up.

In line with our equal opportunities policy we welcome the widest possible range of expressions of interest in order to increase the diversity of our Board.

This roles is not remunerated but modest expenses will be paid. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Vision Aid Overseas’ Trustee and Board Secretary Lucy Devine on  [email protected]   or the Board Chair Nora Colton on [email protected]

If you are interested in applying please send a copy of your CV with a covering letter detailing your interest and in which role and the particular skills and knowledge you bring to [email protected]

Closing date: Sunday 26th January 2020. Interviews will be held in February 2020.


Specific Responsibilities

In addition to general Trustee responsibilities, please see the full role description, we are looking for a Trustee who will be able to advise on, and develop or share networks within the optometry and public health sectors, both in the UK and internationally.

VAO is looking for a Trustee who will be able to support us in two key areas:

  • Provide advice on technical/clinical aspects of Optometry, to ensure all our programmes are aligned with clinical best practice.
  • Provide insight, knowledge and connections relating to global public health initiatives that include eye health.

The role would advise on:

  • Current Public Health trends and initiatives within eye health;
  • Developing networks and partnerships within the wider public health space;
  • New technology and innovation within the Optometry sector, and how this can be used within VAO programmes for trialling/testing;
  • Developing research proposals and grant applications;
  • VAO’s volunteering programme, in particular long-term and South to South volunteering, remote mentoring and trialling of new technologies.

Person Specification

Each Trustee must have:

  • A commitment to the mission and value base of VAO.
  • A commitment to the key policies of VAO – on Harassment and Misconduct, Whistle-blowing, Recruitment of ex-offenders, Child Protection and Anti-Bribery.
  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort.
  • Strategic vision.
  • Good, independent judgement.
  • An ability to think creatively.
  • A willingness to speak his/her mind.
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship (training/information will be offered in this area).
  • An ability to contribute effectively to the workings of the VAO Board and any sub-committees or working groups.

In addition to the above, this specific appointment is looking for Trustees that have:

  • Worked within or alongside the Public Health Sector, ideally with experience of working with Public Health programmes in Africa;
  • Current professional registration as an Optometrist or other eye health professional in the country they work in;
  • A solid understanding of global sight loss and initiatives such as Vision 2020 and the World Report on Vision;
  • A current understanding of eye health national plans;
  • A comprehensive network within the national and global eye health sector, and a willingness to use these networks to promote and or represent VAO.
  • Experience in developing and/or supporting research in the field of eye health.

To see the full role description click here.