Meet The Team

Lisa Cowley

Lisa Cowley

Chief Executive Officer

Lisa’s role encompasses overseeing the development and delivery of all Beacon’s care and support services, stimulating new ideas and innovation as well as creating new partnerships and collaborations which help Beacon provide better services. Through Lisa’s strategic vision, Beacon aims to truly make a visible difference to those living with sight loss.

“I have always worked within the Charity sector, which has been a conscious decision of mine as I’m really passionate about making a difference. I feel very lucky to be part of the team at Beacon, who are all so driven to support others, improve people’s prospects and change perceptions. Working together, I am confident we will help create a society where individuals value and protect their sight and a visual impairment does not limit or determine opportunities.

“Beacon has an ambitious vision for the future and we look forward to you joining us to turn it into a reality, be that as a customer, team member, partner or supporter.”

Email Lisa at lcowley@beaconvision.org

Stella Pitt

Income Generation Director

 

Stella has over 20 years of communications experience, gained in household brands including Morrisons, Halfords and Renault UK. An experienced brand builder and strategist, Stella has also driven communications support for CSR activities within her roles such as corporate Charity of the Year programmes and volunteering projects. Stella also has a wealth of internal communications and event management skills.

Stella is responsible for the Income Generation Team. The team raises awareness of sight loss throughout the region as well as the excellent care and support Beacon provides to people living with a visual impairment. Her remit also covers Commercial Retail and Hospitality, Grants and Trusts, as well as Legacies. 

Email Stella at Spitt@beaconvision.org

 

Jan Burns MBE

Interim Health & Wellbeing Director

Jan, a Registered Social worker, has over 40 years of working in health and social care settings – she has worked at a variety of levels both locally, regionally and Nationally.  Jan started her career as a meals and wheels driver, progressed to delivering care services, managing Care services, inspected care services and took a leading role with Skills for Care to devise and deliver occupational standards across the Care Sector. 

Jan semi retired in 2010 and set up her own consultancy business, supporting people to find appropriate care services, auditing and monitoring care practices and delivering learning and development programme specifically on Management Development and CQC standards.  Jan is chair of the National Dignity Council and earned an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list for her services to Dignity. 

 Jan joined the Beacon Family as Trustee in 2015 and to support the Integration and remodelling of the Health and Wellbeing team, to provide a responsive and effective service to people with Sight Loss and those impacted by sight loss – Jan took up the role of Director in 2019.  She now strategically manages our Living, Lifestyle, Engagement, Employment and Business Support Team.   

 Email Jan at Jburns@beaconvision.org 

Philip Mills

Corporate Services Director

 

Philip is a Chartered Management Accountant with 30 years of experience in major companies such as GKN, Pilkington and Smith & Nephew. He leads Finance, Human Resources, Impact and Outcomes and IT to support the charity’s operations. He is registered blind and is assisted by his guide dog, Rye.

“Beacon’s long history of serving the blind and partially sighted people in this area, and its innovation to continue providing relevant services, is what inspires me to work here. We have a great team at Beacon, and we enjoy making a positive difference to people’s lives.”

Email at Pmills@beaconvision.org

 

 

Rachel Shaw

Learning Manager

Rachel manages a team across the various employment projects  which covers the Black Country, Cannock and East Staffs. Her team help many people living with sight loss, engaging with them in various activities, helping develop their skills and building confidence. The aim of the project is to enable those living with sight loss to lead more independent lives to help open up more opportunities for those looking for work. Rachel also supports people to find suitable sustainable employment.

Email Rachel at rshaw@beaconvision.org

Becky Green

Engagement Manager

Becky is responsible for Beacon’s Engagement team, managing the team of Sight Loss Advisors to provide support for all incoming referrals, providing Information, advice and guidance to people living with sight loss. Becky also manages our Talking News service, Low Vision service and Befriending programs. The team work with external organisations and local communities to promote Beacon’s services and support people impacted by sight loss.

Becky previously worked within volunteer recruitment and for the Thomas Pocklington Trust where she provided support within social group activities for clients living with sight loss. She enjoys working with people to help support and strengthen the services Beacon provides and support people to live fuller more independent lives. 

Email Becky at bgreen@beaconvision.org 

Sophie Higgins

Supporter Engagement Manager

As Supporter Engagement Manager, Sophie’s role encompasses fundraising, corporate relationship building, supporter and donor recognition and bid writing. 

Sophie also manages event and community fundraising, adding creative and strategic flair with everything she does. 

With a strong background in Marketing, Sophie is an integral part of campaign and appeal management across a multi-channel arena for the charity.  

Email Sophie at shiggins@beaconvision.org 

Ranjit Chopra

Employment Officer

Ranjit works for the BBO Project assisting visual impaired people to become work ready by building their social skills and confidence. The project aims to empower individuals to strive further and look for new opportunities through the employability programme. This includes support with career guidance and advice, CV and application form filling, one-to-one based sessions, group sessions and support with IT skills.

Ranjit previously worked within a family support role with the Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Support Project and as an employment officer with the YMCA. She is committed to her role and enjoys seeing the journey and positive changes in peoples lives.

Email Ranjit at RChopra@beaconvision.org

Trustees

The trustees play a vital role in guiding and leading the organisation and its staff to achieve its charitable objectives.

Kathy Roper

Chair of Trustees

Kathy joined Beacon as a volunteer in January 2019 and became a Trustee in August of the same year. Kathy has been an active member of the Beacon family since 2018, after being diagnosed severely visually impaired.  

Kathy retired from her career as a Social Care Commissioner at Wolverhampton City Council and felt she had the range of skills that could be beneficial to the organisation that will also support Beacon’s mission.  

“In my spare time I am a Trustee for another charity, I play the piano flute and guitar and I have recently developed a passion for crocheting. I hope what I also bring to the Board is a positive image of what a person living with sight loss can achieve, whilst not ignoring the challenges.“

Philip Turner

Trustee

Philip has extensive experience in the Financial sector and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Philip has been a Trustee of a Youth Club in Everton and was also the finance governor of a local primary school for 10 years. Philip joined Beacon as Trustee in February 2020.

“Beacon is a well-known established local charity providing support for the visually impaired I have throughout my career worked extensively in and with the charitable sector and want to contribute back into society by using the experience. Beacon have give me this opportunity.”

Richard Ennis

Trustee

Richard is a Partner for Rees Page Solicitors in Wolverhampton, specialising in litigation and employment law.

Richard joined the Trustee Board in 2004 and has been supporting our cause ever since, through campaigning and fundraising. 

“Being involved in Beacon is an opportunity to put something back into the community, and to contribute to the oversight of a fantastic charity which has a very dedicated set of staff and volunteers who go all out to make a difference and it is a real privilege to be able to participate.” 

Sharon Phillips

Trustee

Ian Bowers

Trustee

Jon Tandy

Trustee