TRUSTEES & STAFF
- Cllr Bob Smytherman – President
- Barry Ward – Chairman
- Neil Clarke – Trustee
- Frances Jacobs – Trustee
- Cherry Ward – Trustee
- Dee Darters – Trustee
- Martin Bloomfield – Trustee
- Frances Pritchard – Headquarters Manager
- Tracy Franklin – Member & Volunteer Coordinator
- Sue Colley – Receptionist
- Steve Deane – Member Support
- Jacqui Matten – Minibus Driver
Bob Smytherman – President of Sight Support Worthing
I was first approached to be President of the charity in 2012 while I was Deputy Mayor of Worthing which was something I was honoured to accept as my own Grandfather Thomas Ashe was blinded in the 1920s troubles in southern Ireland. As part of my role I get to attend and support all the charity events and information sessions to help raise the profile of the charity and the support we can offer visually impaired people in Worthing.
While I was Mayor in 2013 I was proud to be able to host the World Blind Bowls championship held in the town.
Some other highlights including chairing the steering group for the Heritage Lottery Fund project looking in to the history of visually impaired people in the town for the last 100 years and being Master of Ceremonies for annual ‘Burn’s lunch’ and joining volunteers for the thank you lunches and afternoon teas.
Barry Ward – Chairman
Soon after I retired in 2008 I started volunteering at Sight Support Worthing, initially as a volunteer driver of the minibus (a role I still undertake and thoroughly enjoy) until six years ago when I was asked to join the Board of Trustees, and shortly thereafter I was asked to Chair the Board. Being a volunteer means that I see a number of the members on a regular basis. Apart from being great fun, this also helps me in my role as a Trustee because I see and hear first-hand some of the issues members deal with and the support they would find helpful. Given that both roles are voluntary, I still have the freedom to commit time that fits in with my other interests and commitments.
Frances Jacobs – Trustee
At the age of 20 I moved from London to Worthing to take up a role in Information Technology – which lasted until my retirement. I therefore have an affinity to the area and those who live here.
I moved to the Worthing area at the age of 10 and have lived in the area ever since, being a medical secretary to several Worthing GPS for over 20 years.
I have always been involved in voluntary work, both my husband and I help fund raising teams for our local hospices and I was a volunteer at The Bradford Hotel for the blind in East Preston until it closed, following it’s closure I contacted Sight Support Worthing and I have been a volunteer since 2015.
This involves helping members on the mini bus, making teas and coffees and chatting to the members, which is very rewarding. I also enjoy friendships with the other volunteers.
In 2016 I was invited onto the Board of Trustees where I provide feedback from the members and offer ideas.
Cherry Ward – Trustee
I was born in Lingfield West Sussex before travelling with my family. I came back and settled in Worthing some 39 years ago.
I have undertaken a number of other jobs and concluded my working life as a Principle Funeral Director in 2014. Having always been a busy person and tried to be supportive to those around me I decided what better way to continue keeping busy by becoming a Volunteer for Sight Support Worthing and subsequently a Trustee also. I have also been a volunteer for Homestart.
I thoroughly enjoy being able to make a difference to our members and assist the staff in making sure that Sight Support Worthing offers as much as we can to those that choose to accept. The wealth of knowledge and interests never cease to surprise me during our chats. I certainly wouldn’t change my plans just yet.
Dee Darters – Trustee
I was born in Worthing, apart from 2 years in Canada, have lived here all my life. In 2003 I was registered blind having been previously diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. I carried on working for a year or so, but retired 2 years early. Luckily, at that time I was introduced to Worthing Society for the Blind (now Sight Support Worthing). I joined a couple of groups, had fun & made new friends. This gave a new dimension to my life and when the Society moved to Rowlands Road I was able to help with the drop in coffee morning as a volunteer. I have appreciated my contact with the staff, members and volunteers at the centre and was pleased to become the member/Trustee in 2017.
Frances Pritchard – Headquarters Manager
I have been with Sight Support Worthing for over 24 years, starting work as an office assistant to in time becoming the Manager. I am responsible for the day to day management of the Charity and work closely with the Board of Trustees to lead the organisation in the provision of services for vision impaired people living within the Borough of Worthing. I count myself lucky to work alongside an experienced staff team. I really enjoy my work here, meeting some lovely people and in particular knowing you are making a difference to their lives.
Sue Colley – Receptionist
I have been working at Sight Support Worthing since November 2011. I am the first port of call for any queries always greet people with with a smile and warm welcome to our Headquarters. I love the variety of the role and the opportunity of meeting new people from all walks of life. Knowing that we have really made a difference to the quality of some of our member’s lives is an added satisfaction.
Prior to Sight Support Worthing I have worked in a variety of roles and settings such as Banks, Solicitors and Schools. In my free time I enjoy going for walks, gardening and badminton.
Tracy Franklin – Member & Volunteer Coordinator
I’ve been with Sight Support Worthing for over 24 years undertaking various roles from shopping to Summer Outings and Christmas Dinners! Sight Support Worthing are run by a small team and we all chip-in and do whatever needs to be done!
Amongst other things I produce the monthly news updates, arrange volunteer events and meetings although everyone who works at Sight Support Worthing has a hand in organising the many regular activities and one off events.
I’ve seen many changes for the charity over the years and we are currently working hard to encourage new member participation with the help of all our wonderful volunteers.
Steve Deane – Welfare Liaison & Transport Coordinator
In May 2018 I shall have been working at Sight Support Worthing for merely two years. Previous to that I was a Police Officer in Thames Valley and a Licensing Officer thereafter. I was ready for retirement when my wife and I moved to Worthing in February 2016. However, my wife had other ideas. Knowing I had spent all my working life working and dealing with people, she saw an advert that a Welfare Liaison Person was required at Sight Support Worthing. I applied for the job and was successful. In those two years, I’ve assisted members in solving some of their problems. These have included locks that would not work, unaligned French Doors, Changing Light Bulbs, Cooker Problems and Technical issues with Laptops etc. This work has been very humbling. Previously, what I’ve taken for granted I.E. Sight, I now take very seriously. Enjoying life and work at Sight Support Worthing with a group of lovely people who include Staff, Members, Volunteers & Trustee’s.