As Chief Executive, Ian saw some major changes at Sight Matters. Some particular highlights include: overseeing a major rebrand; the planning, building and opening of the Freedom Field, a fully-accessible, environmentally-conscious outdoor garden and recreation space; the opening of the VIP Store charity shop on Strand Street; the inception of a Younger Members’ Group; a successful COVID response, that ensured members remained properly supported and connected despite restrictions; as well as many, many more behind-the-scenes and institutional changes and developments.
During Ian’s tenure, Sight Matters’ membership has increased consistently and substantially, with the charity now reaching more blind and visually impaired people than ever before.
All at the charity are sad to see Ian leave – though they are delighted that he will remain connected with the organisation as a volunteer (after a well-earned break!).
Cathryn joined Sight Matters 18 months ago as Social, Welfare and Inclusion Lead, after a long career with the Isle of Man Constabulary. In her time so far, Cathryn has significantly developed the organisation’s outreach program, overseeing the evolution of the existing service provision. Her history as a senior police officer – including safeguarding expertise as well as an intimate knowledge of the local third sector and Governmental departments – makes her the ideal person to take over as Chief Executive.
Speaking about his retirement, Ian Cooil said: “My role as Chief Executive has been an extremely rewarding one. It is truly wonderful to see the transformation in people who can find themselves at the lowest point of distress but, with the help of our staff, slowly, surely, start a journey of hope, inspiration, and independence.”
Cathryn Bradley said: “I am delighted and honoured to be taking up the position of Chief Executive. Ian has certainly left big shoes to fill and it is thanks to him that we are in the position we are today. I have always said I have the best job in the world and I don’t envisage that changing. Sight Matters is an exceptional organisation and one that we should all be proud of.”