We are devastated to announce the passing of our dear colleague and friend, Giulio Venturi. 

Giulio has been a much-loved member of the VAO team since joining us as Vision Centre Supply Manager in July 2011. 

When asking friends and colleagues to describe Giulio, the words that come up repeatedly are that he was kind, genuine and a true gentleman.  He was very much the father figure at the VAO office. If ever someone looked like they were having a bad day, he would always check in to see if they were ok and offer some supportive words.  He went about his work with no fuss, and he never wanted any fuss made of him.  If ever there was a VAO fundraiser or team activity, he would always happily take part. Whether that was bringing in tasty food for one of our staff lunches, donning his jogging gear for the Gatwick 5k run, or getting on his bike (which in fairness wasn’t a chore for him!) as part of Go for Glasses.

Giulio travelled to a number of countries in Africa to support VAO in a technical capacity, most recently supporting a Vision Centre development workshop in Ghana in January 2019.  He was a wealth of knowledge in the world of optical equipment and played a critical role in managing the supplies and equipment used in our programmes, as well as managing statistics coming in from vision centres across the countries in which we work.

Giulio was a wonderful colleague and a friend to so many, and he will be sorely missed by staff, volunteers and partners in the UK and across Africa. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time. 

If any of our friends, members or partners that knew him would like to share any memories or messages of support, please email them to [email protected], and we will send them, with flowers, to his family.

The funeral and burial are taking place on Friday 6th November at 12pm in West Sussex.  If you would like to send flowers or a wreath please contact Chalcrafts Funeral Directors on 01903 812656 or email [email protected].  The family have chosen two charities if people wish to make a donation in Giulio’s memory.  These are St Barnabas Hospice and Vision Aid Overseas.