Meet the Team

Arwyn Jones

Arwyn Jones

Chief Executive

Arwyn’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 that help Beacon provide better services.

“The issue of sight loss is not given the recognition it deserves, and in turn those who have or develop sight loss do not get the consistency of services they should. Working as CEO for Beacon is immensely rewarding both in how we directly help our clients to have more independence and quality of life, but also in being able to work across the sector towards improving recognition of the issue and in turn bring about better and more consistent services.”

Email Arwyn at

Mohammed Islam

Director of Operations

Mohammed started his working life within the Probation Service and has worked in senior roles within care and support organisations which included Home Group and Genesis. His most recent role was with a NGO which supported the Rohingya crises in Myanmar.

Mohammed leads a motivated team who understand social inclusion with a focus on sight loss. He has a broad remit which includes many social inclusion projects for people living with sight loss as well as services at Beacon Court, extra care services and employment services.

Email Mohammed at

Stella Pitt

Communications and Fundraising Director

Stella has over 18 years of communications experience, gained in household brands including Morrisons, Halfords and Renault UK. An experienced brand builder, 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 Communications and Fundraising team with a key focus on communications. 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.

Email Stella at


Helen Brown

Communications and Fundraising Director

Helen has worked in the media industry for 15 years. A specialist in health she also spent several years working as a news editor at the country’s biggest regional daily newspaper. She has also been involved in the charity sector as a volunteer for a number of years.

Helen is responsible for the Communications and Fundraising team, raising awareness of sight loss throughout the region and the excellent care and support Beacon provides to people living with visual impairment.

Email Helen at 

Kam Cheema

Communications Manager

Kam has worked in communications roles within the NHS, the Labour Party and the third sector. He brings with him skills within proactive campaigning, reactive comms and managing a busy press office.

Kam will be spreading Beacons key messages and raising awareness of all its important work. He will also work alongside stakeholders, internal staff and partners to publicise important initiatives and big stories. Helping spread news across social media channels and other new platforms is also central to his role.

Email Kam at

Sophie Higgins

Partnership Development Manager

As Partnership Development Manager, Sophie’s role is to create working relationships between Beacon and a wide range of local businesses. 

As well as working with corporate partners to raise much needed funds for the charity, this role is also about raising awareness of sight loss issues and includes delivering Beacon’s Sight Friendly Award, designed for companies and organisations who want to make their services more accessible for people with sight loss. 

Email Sophie at 

Rachel Shaw

Project Co-Ordinator/Volunteer Supervisor

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

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

Becky Sinar

Volunteer Development Coordinator

Becky is responsible for the recruitment, induction, placing and management of volunteers. She helps place volunteers within various roles across the charity which includes the Health and Wellbeing centre, retail, catering, admin, community groups and much more. Becky also coordinates work placements and corporate volunteering opportunities.

Becky previously worked for the Thomas Pocklington Trust where she provided support within social group activities for clients living with sight loss. She enjoys working with people face-to-face to help support and strengthen the services Beacon provides – and believes the hard work and dedication of  volunteers is central to the work of Beacon.

Email Becky at


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

Pauline Heffernan

Chair of the Beacon Centre

Pauline is the current Chair of the Beacon Centre. Her first visit to Beacon was back in 2006 which led to her becoming part of the team of consultants which helped to secure funding for the centre we have today. She remained interested in the cause of visual impairment and became chair in 2015.

“It’s both a privilege and a responsibility to hold that position, knowing Beacon has supported visually impaired people for over 140 years. We’ve changed, a lot, during that timescale and doubtless we will do so in future. I look forward to playing my part. ”

Carolyn Stokes


Carolyn Stokes has a background is in training and education, the organisation I work for, works with individuals who present with a range of barriers to learning, it sources funding and develop skills.

“I want to bring this knowledge and expertise to the board to support wherever possible the development of the Beacon Centre.”

Jan Burns MBE

Vice Chair of the Beacon Centre

Jan Burns MBE has worked for almost 37 years, both locally and nationally within the Social Care Sector, 25 years in Local Authority and is currently chair of the National Dignity Council leading a campaign with over 83,000 champions. She has a not for profit consultancy service offering information and advice to; people wanting to access a social care service, to organisations on how to deliver quality services to meet regulatory standards and to the workforce.

“I am committed and dedicated to support everyone at Beacon in making it a creative, innovative, Centre of Excellence.”

Nick Price


Nick Price has been a trustee of the Beacon Centre since 2009 but is also a consultant ophthalmologist at the Wolverhampton & Midland Counties Eye Infirmary and Nuffield Hospital, Wolverhampton since 1991 and so brings to the board his experience in the clinical management of those with visual impairment and provide a link between the Centre and the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.
He is also involved in other charities supporting eye health care and likes to undertake sponsored fundraising events each year.

“Over the years, it has been an exciting experience to have been a part of the impressive developments which have taken place at the Beacon. The Black Country and surrounding areas deserve a comprehensive supportive organisation for the increasing numbers and expectations of its visually impaired. I hope I can continue to encourage the Beacon Centre to meet those ambitions.”

Sue Rawlings

Chair of finance committee

Sue Rawlings is a consultant working with the voluntary sector for more than 15 years.
She has a background in finance, being a Chartered Certified Accountant, and previously having held positions in the public, private and voluntary sector, the last one being Finance Director for a charity in the West Midlands. She is also a director of Beacon’s Community Interest Company BeaconforLife and a Non-Executive Director at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Hospital Trust.

“I believe the work we do at Beacon is vital to support and empower people with visual impairment to lead fulfilling and active lives.”

Michael Beardsmore


Michael brings a wealth of experience to his role at the Beacon Centre having been involved in the governance of not for profit organisations and charities for more than 40 years.

He is a chartered accountant and has spent most of his career as a partner in a medium sized accountancy practice involved in audit, accountancy and tax work for small and medium sized companies.

Some of his past roles include chair – Prima Quality Foods plc, past chair of OM UK, a charity with 6,000 workers worldwide, past vice chair Sandwell College, past President Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Black Country Business Link.

“Having been heavily involved in Governance of ‘Not for Profit’ and charities for more than 40 years I am able to bring knowledge and experience to the Beacon Centre board and am pleased to be involved.”