New CEO for the Essex charity Support 4 Sight

Gary Hyams, chief executive of Support 4 Sight and Jennifer Tolhurst, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant

Archive image from 2020: Gary Hyams, chief executive of Support 4 Sight and Jennifer Tolhurst, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Essex. The charity was recognised with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. - Credit: Archant

A new CEO has been announced for Support 4 Sight, which supports those with sight loss, their carers and families in Essex.

After three and a half years as 'interim' CEO Gary Hyams has decided to take a well-earned retirement.

Sharon Schaffer, CEO of Support for Sight

Sharon Schaffer, CEO of Support for Sight - Credit: Support for Sight

The role is being taken up by Sharon Schaffer.

During his time as CEO Gary stabilised the charity, despite the turbulence of the pandemic year.

In 2020, Support 4 Sight was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The charity said it wants to thank Gary for his work and wishes him well for his retirement.


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Sharon Schaffer will become the new Chief Executive.

Sharon said: "I am delighted to be picking up the reins from Gary as he retires as CEO of Support 4 Sight.

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"Having been a trustee of Support 4 Sight for the past three years I am now keen to help steer the charity into the next stage of its development, as we look towards emerging from lockdown and beyond."

Sharon's work in the sight loss field has extended from managing the London Visual Impairment Forum to working with eye health networks across the East of England with the England Vision Strategy, and most recently as service manager with Sight Concern Bedfordshire. 

Prior to this she was touring the country, acting with and running a theatre company.

Sharon said: "I hope to draw together this breadth of experience to ensure that people living with sight loss across mid and west Essex receive the support and services they desire, and will be working with our dedicated staff team, volunteers and local partners to achieve this end."

The charity is looking forward to welcoming people to their pop-up resource centres in Saffron Walden Town Hall and Broomfield Village Hall, Chelmsford. These are by appointment only. Please call 01799 588897 to book.

Coffee mornings across the region will be restarting in line with government advice.

In the meantime there are virtual coffee mornings. Please call 01799 588897 for details.

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