The Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall becomes iSightCornwall patron

May 10, 2022 10:15 am

The Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE has become a patron of one of Cornwall’s oldest charities, iSightCornwall.
iSightCornwall was set up to help Cornish miners who had lost their sight due to accidents and the working conditions. The charity recently celebrated its 165th birthday and continues to support people of all ages affected by sight loss across the county.

Colonel Bolitho OBE

Colonel Bolitho was born in Penzance to a family with strong Cornish roots spanning hundreds of years, and was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in 2011.

He is following in his family’s footsteps with his support for iSightCornwall as the Bolitho family have been involved with the charity since its foundation in 1856.

A young Thomas Bedford Bolitho sat on the very first committee of iSightCornwall and Colonel Bolitho’s great, great grandfather Thomas Simon Bolitho was also a member of the committee for around 15 years in the 1870s and 80s. He was followed at the turn of the century by his niece, Norah Bolitho who remained on the board until 1919.

In 1949 Colonel Bolitho’s grandfather, Lt Col Edward H W Bolitho, opened the Malabar Home for the Blind following a significant fundraising drive by the charity. At the time the home provided accommodation for 24 blind people and was the only residential home of its kind in Cornwall.

In 1956, exactly 100 years after her father Thomas sat on the founding committee, Mary Williams became chair of the charity, which by now was known as the Cornwall County Association for the Blind.

Colonel Edward Bolitho said: “I was fascinated to discover my family’s involvement with the charity throughout the years so it’s a pleasure to continue the affiliation in my role as patron. As someone who has been short sighted all my life, I don’t underestimate the impact sight loss can have and I’ve been very impressed with the fantastic work that the charity does.”

Exciting Time

The charity welcomes its new patron during an exciting time following national recognition of its work during the pandemic with the Visionary Share Award and the celebration of its 165th anniversary.

iSightCornwall Chief Executive, Carole Theobald said: “In our 165th year, it’s with great pleasure that we continue our association and welcome Colonel Edward Bolitho as our patron.”

The charity has also recently added two new trustees onto its board, welcoming Kerry Eldridge and Marcus Slater into iSightCornwall’s team of experienced and dedicated trustees.

New Trustees

Kerry is a senior HR professional with experience across the private, charity and public sectors. She is the Executive Director of People and Governance at Cornwall Care, the largest charity based Adult Social Care provider in Cornwall.

Marcus is the Managing Director of Reynolds & Slater Opticians with practices in Falmouth and Penzance. He is also a specialist optometrist for Glaucoma at RCHT. Marcus was part of the committee which successfully re-commissioned a post-Cataract assessment and Glaucoma Referral Refinement scheme for Cornwall.

Reynolds & Slater Opticians also has historical links with iSightCornwall. Juanita Reynolds, who founded Reynolds Opticians with her husband, was Chair of the charity and introduced the low vision service in 1994 which is still a key service to this day.

Carole said: “We welcome Kerry and Marcus to our team of trustees and look forward to shaping the future of iSightCornwall with them and their fellow trustees.”

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