About us Our Board of Trustees Our Board of Trustees The Board of Trustees is the governing body of Focus Birmingham. The Board of Trustees have ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of Focus Birmingham, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for which it has been set up.The board is responsible for the legal and strategic direction of the charity and formally accounts for its actions in annual reports to both the Charity Commission and Companies House. The board is made up of key people who give their time and carry out their duties for no payment. The charity benefits from the objectivity such a body brings, and from the skills and experience of its board members. The board’s duty is to act in the best interests of the charity and declare any conflicts of interest. Meet the Board John Montgomery - Chair - February 2019 On completing his education, John followed his father, a highly skilled engineer for Coventry Climax F1 team, into engineering. He went on to study Law & Accountancy and has worked for some large ‘blue chip’ companies and latterly worked in Compliance, Fraud Management, and Forensic Accounting. Following retirement, John has worked for several charities, joining Focus in 2018. “It immediately became obvious that Focus had an amazingly dedicated team who needed to get the message out to the world that they can, and want to, help.My wife and I care for a 27-year-old young lady who came to us aged 5, she is autistic with severe learning difficulties. As a family we have a practicing Christian faith and I feel strongly we must work as one unit, looking after each other.I am proud to be part of Focus and I assure you I will be right alongside the team and all the people we support as we move forward together.” Richard Hindle - Treasurer Richard is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales and of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. After beginning his career within the accountancy profession, specialising in providing tax advice to large companies, Richard then worked in a number of senior roles in the manufacturing and service sectors across the West Midlands. Richard taught at Birmingham City University’s Business School as a Senior Lecturer specialising in accounting, corporate finance and taxation. Richard lives close to Focus with his wife, two boys and dog. When not transporting his sons to their various sporting events he enjoys training for and competing in triathlons. Jean McDougall - Marketing Trustee Jean began her working life in journalism and editorial work before becoming interested in consumer behaviour and taking up a market research role within an advertising agency. She worked for a number of market research agencies helping local and global companies better understand their consumers, their brands and their brand communications. Jean later combined her market research and marketing abilities with her editorial skills to become Global Communications and Marketing for Millward Brown, a top global market research agency. Jean later set up her own consultancy helping both public and private sector organisations to bring their brands and their organisations to life. More recently she has started an e-commerce business. Jean is also a volunteer Business Mentor with Sported UK. Jean lives in Warwickshire and her interest in sight loss began when her father, and later two friends, were affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Marie Tsaloumas MB BS FRCOphth Marie Tsaloumas is a consultant ophthalmic surgeon and joined the board of trustees in 2013 bringing expertise and extensive experience in retinal disorders and eye conditions in general. Marie graduated in Australia and trained in ophthalmology in Birmingham. As well as general ophthalmology, Marie has a sub specialty interest in diabetic eye disease, age related macular degeneration and vascular diseases of the eye. She has also conducted regional and national multidisciplinary clinics dealing with inherited retinal conditions and their systemic manifestations. In addition she has been actively involved in the education and training of undergraduates and trainee doctors. One of her main research interests is the role of social deprivation on visual loss and strategies for prevention and treatment.Marie is married with two children and lives in Solihull. Christopher Gascoigne Christopher joined the board as a trustee in 2013. He is the Managing Director of S. Gascoigne and Sons, an independent, family- run funeral directors. Christopher also has a long association with Birmingham Royal Institution for the Blind (BRIB) which led to his involvement with Focus. Christopher lives in Kings Heath and is married with children. Valarie Griffiths Val is a service user and volunteer at Focus Birmingham and she has now joined the board as a Trustee. Val is visually impaired and brings her personal experience to help advise the board about the needs of blind and partially sighted service users to help people reduce their social isolation through the importance of having activities such as health and well-being days, coffee mornings and days out. When Val isn’t volunteering on our SupportLine, she enjoys going to the opera and theatre, shopping and enjoying good food and wine with friends. Val has lived all around the world including France, Nigeria, Wales and Newcastle and she currently lives in Selly Oak with her guide dog Kizzy. Shirley Markham Shirley is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Shirley worked for over 35 years in the NHS and held a number of senior executive roles, including Director of Workforce and Organisational Development. After leaving the NHS she set up her own consultancy service and supported a number of organisations across health & social care and the third sector. Now retired, as well as becoming a Trustee of Focus in 2019 she is a volunteer boarder for Guide Dogs in early training, and also volunteers for Citizens Advice Witness Service at Birmingham Crown Court.Shirley lives in South Birmingham and in her spare time, she likes to keep fit, dance and relax with a good book. She is never happier than walking the fields and parks with a trainee Guide Dog by her side. Mandeep Jandu Mandeep Jandu is a Commissioning Manager for adult social care at Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council. He has worked in the health & social care sector for over two decades starting his career as a carer in a residential/nursing home. A co-founder of JP Integrated Care Services which has supported over 150 vulnerable families to access and improve their health and wellbeing. He has worked across all industry sectors & routinely volunteers his time supporting third sector organisations. Graduating in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Wolverhampton, he has consistently engaged in continuing professional development. An accredited project manager across both waterfall & agile methodologies. He has an interest in artificial intelligence, machine learning and is undertaking a range of training including SQL, Python & statistics to further advance his knowledge.Mandeep enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing golf & has completed many residential refurbishments. Zoe Allen-Robinson Zoe Allen-Robinson is a qualified Solicitor having previously worked in private practice in criminal defence. She then moved in-house to the Solicitors Regulation Authority in their General Counsel department and now manages a team that looks to prevent law firms being used for money laundering. She is Chair of her employer’s Access Ability Network, a network set up to promote and encourage equality of opportunities for disabled employees and a champion for inclusion. Zoe herself has a sight condition and was keen to get involved in the important work of Focus Birmingham following her father becoming partially sighted.