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Aiming to enable visually impaired people to enjoy the quality of life others take for granted.

President and Patrons


Baroness Joyce Quin

Member of The Privy Council

Joyce was educated at Whitley Bay Grammar School and Newcastle University where she gained first class honours in French and was first in her year. She subsequently gained an M.Sc. in International Relations at the London School of Economics. She worked as a French language lecturer and tutor at the University of Bath and Durham University.

She served as Member of the European Parliament for Tyne South and Wear and Tyne and Wear successively from 1979 to 1989, and entered the House of Commons in the 1987 election as Member of Parliament for Gateshead East.

After boundary changes for the 1997 general election, she represented the new Gateshead East and Washington West constituency from 1997 until 2005.

Joyce served as prisons minister, Minister for Europe, and as a junior agriculture minister.

In April 2006, it was announced that Quin had been nominated for a life peerage by the Labour Party. On 30 May, she was created Baroness Quin, of Gateshead in the County of Tyne and Wear.

In November 2007, she was appointed Chair of the Franco-British Council (British Section). In 2010 she was awarded "Officier de la Legion d'Honneur" by the French Government. She was appointed a shadow Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister by Harriet Harman in May 2010.

Emma Lewell Buck

Member of Parliament for South Shields

Emma Lewell-Buck is the Member of Parliament for South Shields.

In June 2013 Emma became a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

In October 2013 Emma was appointed Private Parliamentary Secretary to Ivan Lewis, Labour's shadow Northern Ireland Secretary.

In July 2015 Emma was elected as a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

In October 2016, she was appointed Shadow Education Minister responsible for children and families' policy.

Ian Mearns

Member of Parliment for Gateshead

Born in Newcastle in April 1957 Ian was educated at St Mary’s RC Primary School, Forest Hall and St Mary’s RC Technical School in Newcastle, before starting work with Northern Gas in 1974.

Ian was Chair of the Campaign for a North East Assembly and was a member of the North East Constitutional Convention Steering Group.

Formerly member of the North East Assembly, Ian Chaired the Scrutiny and Policy Development Board of NEA for almost 3 years.

Ian is Chair of Governors of Thomas Hepburn Community Comprehensive in Felling (19 years) and Kelvin Grove Primary in Central Gateshead (2 years) and was for about ten years Chair of Governors of Joicey Road Special School for children with moderate learning difficulties.

Vice Chair of Gateshead’s Diversity Forum Ian has a wealth of experience of working with Community Leaders from across our borough and I takes particular pride in the linkages that I have helped to develop, over the years, with our significant orthodox Jewish community.

Stephen Hepburn

Member of Parliament for Jarrow

Stephen Hepburn MP is the Labour Member of Parliament for the Jarrow Constituency.

Stephen joined Sight Service as a Patron in ????

Stephen was first elected as MP for the Jarrow Constituency following Lord Don Dixon's retirement at the 1997 General Election.
He was re-elected MP for the Jarrow Constituency in 2001, 2005 and 2010 when he had an overall majority of 12,908.

As a Labour Party member for well over three decades, Stephen is proud to represent the area where he was born, grew up, went to school and still resides. A son of a joiner, he was educated at Springfield Comprehensive School in Jarrow (now Jarrow School) and later in life at the University of Newcastle where he was awarded a BA (Hons) degree. Stephen worked as a Parliamentary Research Assistant to the previous MP for Jarrow, now Lord Don Dixon, before entering Parliament in 1997.

Stephen was Secretary of the Jarrow Constituency Labour Party from 1986 to 1996.

For 12 years Stephen served as a Labour Councillor for the Bede ward of South Tyneside Council. During that time he was the Chairman of the Finance Sub-Committee, Chair of the Tyne & Wear Pensions Committee and Deputy Leader of the Council.

Stephen is a member of the building union UCATT and has been since 1982 when he started work as a building labourer. Since being elected to Parliament in 1997 he has worked to improve the lives of ordinary people and tried his level best always to give them a voice on numerous issues through campaigning. For example, Stephen has long campaigned for justice for Mesothelioma sufferers, those workers who were negligently exposed to lethal asbestos by their employers. In addition, he brought a Private Members Bill to the floor of the Commons on Directors Duties, with the aim of bringing real criminal penalties to bare on those company directors who compromise the safety of employees.

In Parliament he served on numerous committees including the Defence Select and currently serves on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.