Staff

Jackie Powers

Chief Executive

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I am originally from Zimbabwe but have been working in Southampton based charities for the last 20 years developing services that can help people to live fulfilling lives. My previous experience ranges from supporting and developing gymnastics across the city, working with young people to address social issues hindering their development and supporting disadvantaged people to progress into employment. I am now enjoying working at Southampton Sight developing new services for people living with sight loss in Southampton and the surrounding areas and ensuring our legacy for the future.

Mandy Swift

Service Manager

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I have worked at Southampton Sight since 2009 and my current role as Services Manager is very varied and is continually evolving. I oversee the social groups and activities that take place at our Centre in Bassett, demonstrate the aids and equipment in our Resource Centre and look after all the volunteers who are vital in the delivery our services.

I have met lots of extraordinary individuals over the past few years and am passionate about making a real difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people.

I was born and have lived in Southampton all my life. My hobbies include coin collecting, riding my 1952 British motorcycle and walking my Tibetan Terrier.

Sonia Taulbut

Sight Loss Awareness Coordinator

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I have two roles here at Southampton Sight I am an administrator, a job that I share with Gail and the Sight Loss Awareness Coordinator.

My work is so varied that no two days are the same. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have these roles and to have met so many amazing people in the past few years.

I was born in Southampton and I must really enjoy it here as I have lived here all my life. I like to spend my spare time split between my two passions which are spending time with my grown-up family or cheering on the ‘Saints’ from terraces from St Marys Stadium.

Michelle Kirwan

Communications and Fundraising Coordinator

Kate Healey

Access Technology Coordinator

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I started working here in April 2015. My role is to train people in the use of access technology from magnification on a smartphone to learning to touch type and using a computer with screen reading software on. I also demonstrate everyday living aids to groups in the Southampton area. I have always worked or volunteered in the charity sector combined with my own sight loss I have a wealth of experience of working with people who have sight loss. In our spare time, myself and my partner enjoy traveling on trains, a little challenging at times as we both have sight loss but still as enjoyable. I like the variety of work at the charity especially when you know you’ve made a difference with the smallest piece of advice or the easiest changes that someone can make, enabling them to have independence again.

Angela Fielder

Support Worker

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Southampton Sight has always been part of my life, remembering many wonderful events with my in-laws who attended the centre. I have now come full circle, being part of Southampton Sight again. I started volunteering for Southampton Sight in 2015 and in November 2016, I was given the opportunity to become Kate’s personal assistant, supporting her in her work, “being her eyes” or as she says her second pair”. My job includes visiting service users in their own home and various groups in the community, enabling Kate to advise on technology and demonstrate resources enhancing the life’s of visually impaired people. I love my role, it is rewarding to know that we can make a difference to those living with sight loss. My hobbies include, flower arranging. I enjoy gardening and help look after my young grandchildren.

Gail Loynes

Administrator

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Hello, my name is Gail and I am the newest member of staff. I started at Southampton Sight at the beginning of June as an Administrator. I job share with Sonia and work all day Tuesday and Friday morning.I have had a varied career, working for Eastleigh Borough Council, the Jobcentre and various charities. Some of you may know me from DAIN (Disability Advice & Information Network) as I was there for 8 years until it closed down at Christmas due to lack of funding.I am a disabled person who uses a wheelchair.

I was born with Stills Disease which is similar to Juvenile Chronic Arthritis. My disability does not stop me from doing anything & I pride myself as always being in work. I understand the problems when dealing with prejudice & discrimination & I am an active campaigner in the Disability Movement.

When I’m not working, I enjoy going to the cinema & theatre but my main hobby is making greetings cards. I have been making cards for many years. If you are interested in buying any, there is a box full at Southampton Sight. All money raised is given directly to Southampton Sight. I can also make cards to order and personalise them for a particular person or event.

I hope to continue the valuable work done by Southampton Sight & I look forward to meeting you soon.

Maria Bowler

Activities Worker

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Hello, my name is Maria. I have been working for Southampton Sight for quite a few years and have numerous guises! I initially started running the Children and Young peoples group once a month which I still do, I find this very rewarding. Soon after I started overseeing the weekly Wednesday social group and also supported the carers group.  I also cook at the centre for the Southampton Sight social groups and events and run the fortnightly Friday lunch club. Furthermore, I am employed as a support worker  twice a week for Gail who is the administrator at Southampton Sight to support her work.

I find myself very lucky that I work with a really nice team. I enjoy my roles as I get to meet lots of interesting people.

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