Patron and governing body
HRH The Countess of Wessex
HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO became the Patron of Blind Veterans UK in 2016 taking over the Patronage of the charity from The Queen. As well as Blind Veterans UK, The Countess of Wessex is Patron of over 70 charities and organisations. Each year, Her Royal Highness undertakes hundreds of visits to schools, universities, military bases and charity headquarters in order to learn more about their work, and to highlight it to the wider world.
Colin became just the sixth President of Blind Veterans UK in 2017. He served in the Royal Artillery as a driver, gunner and signaller and has been a beneficiary of Blind Veterans UK since 2003 after a serious assault caused his sight loss. He has volunteered and worked for Blind Veterans UK for more than 10 years and, amongst other things, leads ‘Project Gemini’, our exchange programme between blind veterans from the UK and USA and South Africa.
Tim joined the Council of Blind Veterans UK in 2009 as Vice Chairman and became our Chairman in December 2013. He has extensive international experience in general management, sales, marketing and distribution roles for blue chip companies across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. In his time with Blind Veterans UK Tim has also completed both our 100 kilometre challenges, running our London to Brighton event in 15 hours 27 minutes.
Paul Luker CB OBE AFC DL
Paul joined the Royal Air Force in 1968, aged 17, serving until 2006. He trained as a support helicopter pilot and subsequently his flying duties ranged across a wide number of RAF and Army helicopters. After attending the Royal College of Defence Studies, he went on to be Director of Overseas Military Activity at the Ministry of Defence and then Commander of Joint Helicopter Command. Paul has been a trustee of Blind Veterans UK since December 2012.
Sarah-Lucie Bashall (nee Watson) was born in London and grew up in Kent. Her mother was blinded in an accident aged six and brought up three children. She is married to an army officer and has three children of her own. Sarah-Lucie trained to become a doctor at Kings College hospital in London in 1982. She completed her fellowship specialising in Medical retina at Moorfield’s Eye hospital in London and in 2003 took up a fulltime Consultant position at the Royal Berkshire hospital.
After graduating from Southampton University with a First Class degree in Ancient History, Andrew served a short commission in the Royal Green Jackets. He has 30 years of investment experience and is Head of Wealth Management for Schroders the Group and sits on the Group Management Committee. He is also Chief Executive of Cazenove Capital Management, which is the UK Wealth Management business of Schroders.
Paul Palmer Esq
Paul was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1972 into the Royal Corps of Transport. His career was spent moving personnel, equipment and ammunition around the world by road, rail, sea and air. He spent two tours of duty in Northern Ireland and served in the Gulf. After leaving the Army he spent the next seven years working in the Middle East before retiring in 2009. He is a Blind Veterans UK beneficiary and started receiving support in 2010.
Kerry Levins Esq
Kerry was appointed as a Trustee of Blind Veterans UK in 2012. A blind veteran himself, Kerry trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1990 and was commissioned into the Royal Signals in 1991. He served with the Queens Gurkha Signal Regiment in Hong Kong, Nepal and Brunei. He was discharged as a Captain in 1999. Kerry has been a Blind Veterans UK beneficiary receiving support from the charity since 2010. He is currently studying for a law degree.
Penny was appointed as a member of the Council in December 2014. After starting her career with a brief spell in public relations, she has spent over 25 years in investment management, formerly with Kleinwort Benson and currently with Rathbones, where as an investment director, she manages investment portfolios for private individuals, trusts, self-invested personal pensions and charities. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Securities Institute.
Ty is the Chief Executive of Broughton House Veterans Care Charity. Based in the North West, he was formerly Managing Director of Hull based HICA for five years. His career started in London where he trained as a Barrister before taking up the role of National Development Manager for Nuffield Hospitals. He was recognised for ‘Management Excellence’ in the Laing and Buisson Independent Healthcare Awards 2011. Ty was appointed as a Trustee of Blind Veterans UK in September 2015.
David joined the Council of Blind Veterans UK in March 2016. After studying at the College of Estate Management he qualified as a chartered surveyor. He joined the UK board of a listed property development and investment company before joining a leading UK bank where he became CEO of the Group’s property subsidiary and Group Property Director. Post retirement, David has used his experience through a number of board appointments in the private and public sectors.