Trustees, Staff and Patrons

Our Staff

Fay Skevington, Chief Executive Officer

Fay has a young child, TJ, who has coloboma and mild microphthalmia. She has been a member of MACS since February 2014. Based in the Peak District, she is an experienced government policymaker who brings expertise in project management and policy making to MACS.

Contact: fay@macs.org.uk

Lindsay Dunlop, Fundraising Manager

Lindsay joined MACS in April 2018 to work on growing the organisation’s income so that we can achieve our ambitious goals for the future. Drawing on her previous experience of fundraising for other health related and children’s charities, she will always be looking for new funding opportunities for MACS, as well as building on our successful existing activities. She firmly believes that the MACS family is at the heart of everything we do, and is delighted to be helping to develop our services to improve the support and information available to families all over the UK.

Contact: lindsay@macs.org.uk

Helen O’Brien, Project Manager

Helen joined us in October 2016 and has worked on numerous projects for MACS as well as taking care of a lot of administrative duties. Before working with us, Helen worked with children with special needs for 5 years so she knows how important it is that children get the support they need. She looks forward to meeting many of you at a MACS event soon.

Contact: helen@macs.org.uk

Kaja Kosla, Fundraising Events Coordinator

Kaja joined MACS in January 2014 and is responsible for the London Marathon and other running events by co-ordinating fundraising and providing training support. A member of the 100 Marathon Club, Kaja also runs her own annual double marathon in Liverpool.

Contact: kaja@macs.org.uk

Kerry Cousins, Regional Coordinator

Kerry first found MACS when her son, Tyler, was diagnosed with coloboma at 6 weeks old. After googling coloboma she found MACS and some much-needed support. Kerry became a volunteer Caravan Coordinator for MACS in September 2017, once all her children started full time education. She really enjoyed giving back to MACS and in January 2018 she joined us as a member of staff. Kerry is working with our network of Local Event Organisers and Peer Supporters to ensure we continue to provide opportunities for families to meet up locally and get support from people who truly understand what they are going through.

Contact: kerrycousins@macs.org.uk


Our Trustees

Robbie Crow, Chair

Robbie has been Chairman of MACS since 2015, a trustee since 2013, and a member since his family joined in 1996 when he was only 4 years old. Having been born with bilateral Microphthalmia and Coloboma and being registered blind, Robbie’s family joined MACS in order to gain emotional and peer support for him from a young age. Having benefitted from (and initiated) many of MACS’ core services, Robbie understands the daily struggles that people with the MACS conditions face and knows, first hand, the positive difference that MACS can make in a child’s life.

Outside of MACS, Robbie works in the inclusion and diversity sector and often travels internationally to give keynote and motivational speeches, and to give advice to organisations who want to become more inclusive and empowering for disabled people.

As Chair of MACS, Robbie is responsible for leading the overall strategic direction of the charity, as well as overseeing the management of its services and the overall development of the organisation as a whole.

Robbie is a keen traditional musician and a sailor.

Contact: robbie@macs.org.uk
Twitter: @RobbieCrow
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/robbiecrow/

Gary Murphy, Treasurer

A finance manager by day, Gary puts his skills to good work as MACS’ Treasurer. Gary’s oldest child, Lily, was born in 2007 with bilateral Microphthalmia and she also has some developmental delays. Finding out about MACS was a lifeline for Gary and his wife Rachael. Gary still recalls the relief he experienced when he called MACS’ Helpline and was finally able to speak to someone who understood how he was feeling. Lily is now five and has recently started school.

Contact: gary@macs.org.uk

Jenny Lupton, Secretary

Jenny has been a trustee since 2010. Jenny’s son Ben, was born with slight Microphthalmia, Nystagmus and Gluacoma in his left eye and severe Microphthalmia in his right eye. Ben has also been diagnosed with Peters Anomaly Plus Syndrome and Sox2 Syndrome and has Intermittent Hearing loss, Microcephaly, Dyspraxia and developmental delay. Jenny is a major force behind Team MACS – helping to make sure that our fundraisers are supported and motivated.

Contact: jenny@macs.org.uk

Teresa Gordon, Observer

Teresa’s daughter Kara, born in 2008, has Microphthalmia with dense cataract and Nystagmus in her right eye. After attending a MACS Family Weekend with her children and husband Mel, Teresa felt she wanted to give something back, becoming a regional supporter, before standing as Trustee at the 2014 AGM.

Teresa is really happy to be part of such a great team.

Contact: teresa@macs.org.uk

Aaron Eaton, Trustee

Aaron lives in Ipswich with his wife Jodie and two young children, Madison and Aurora, who has right eye microphthalmia.

Aaron and his family discovered MACS shortly after the birth of Aurora and have been interested in how they could support the work of the charity further.

Aaron sits on sub-committees for Finance & Governance, Grants, and Marketing & Communications. He is a health and safety professional, with a keen interest in football and music.

Contact: aaron@macs.org.uk

Becky Hardisty, Trustee

Becky is a MACS adult whose family have been MACS members since she was seven. Becky was born with bilateral Microphthalmia and Coloboma. Her elder brother, Matthew, was born with bilateral Anophthalmia.

She currently works as a social worker with adults with a range of disabilities and needs. Shes live in West Lancashire with her son Connor and partner Oli.

Contact: becky@macs.org.uk

Lisa Jefferies, Trustee

Lisa works as a consultant helping clients with technology and strategy decisions.  She hopes to bring some of this experience to MACS to help them grow further and reach even more families.
Lisa’s eldest son was diagnosed with a microphthalmic right eye shortly after birth.  He also has nystagmus and a large macular scar in his left eye which means his overall vision is 6/48.  She was first introduced to MACS whilst at a Moorfields appointment and found it incredibly reassuring to discover they were not alone in what they were going through.

Contact: lisa@macs.org.uk

Rory Hallas, Trustee

Rory lives with his wife and two children in South Buckinghamshire. His two-year old daughter was born with bilateral coloboma, and although the extent of her visual impairment is difficult to determine, she has developed good coping strategies to help her progress at both home and nursery.
Rory qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte and now works for a listed property company in London. Outside work, Rory is a keen sailor and runner. He completed the 2018 London Marathon for MACS, and sails in the Aldeburgh regatta every summer with his dad in his home county of Suffolk.

Contact: rory@macs.org.uk

Our Patrons

The Rt Hon. the Lord Blunkett

Lord Blunkett has previously held office as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Education and Employment. He has been blind since birth.

Since first coming into contact with MACS at a fundraising event, I’ve been full of admiration for the charity, the youngsters and their parents and carers.

By giving the support which enables everyone to cope practically and emotionally, MACS is offering positive mutual self-help. MACS is also raising the profile and awareness of these conditions.

I hope everyone who can, will give what they can, to help MACS to offer the help, advice and interventions that are needed.

Lord BlunkettMACS Patron

 

Mr Richard Collin MA, FRCS, DO, FRCOphth

​Mr Richard Collin is a leading specialist in Oculoplastic surgery focusing on microphthalmos, ptosis, eyelid anatomy, orbital implants, conjunctival replacement and eyelid tumour management.

Richard has been a Patron of MACS for many years.

He continues to be a source of invaluable information and guidance to the many MACS families who have visited his clinic.

Jodie Prenger

Actress and presenter Jodie burst onto the scene after winning the BBC's ‘I’d Do Anything’ and going on to play the part of Nancy in the West End show Oliver!

It was while playing Nancy that Jodie met MACS member Toby Ott…

Through taking part in shows like Oliver! I get to meet the most extraordinary people and one of them was Toby. Through him, I found out about Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia and Coloboma - all conditions I never knew existed.

Learning more about MACS, I very proudly became a patron. For me it’s a total honour to be invited, not only into a charity, but into one big family. It’s great to see everyone working together to make a big difference to peoples’ lives.

Jodie PrengerMACS Patron

Read more about Jodie at http://www.jodieprengerofficial.com

Martin Pemberton

An entertainer and stunt man for film and TV, Martin has been involved with the charity for many years and has seen both MACS, and the children and families it supports, grow and develop. Martin  is both honoured to become a patron and enthusiastic about supporting the charity into the future. 

To be part of MACS is truly humbling. Children should never feel vulnerable, left out or subject to negativity and that is why MACS is so special. I look forward to meeting more MACS members, becoming a friend and making some great memories. Thanks for giving me this opportunity.
Martin PembertonMACS Patron

Chris Ashton

Chris Ashton is an English rugby union player who has represented England in both Rugby League and Rugby Union and is a key player for Saracens.

Chris has a close link with MACS as his cousin Ben has bilateral anophthalmia. Chris says he is ‘proud to be part of MACS and help support it in any way’.

All at MACS are delighted that Chris has come on board and look forward to working with Chris to help promote MACS now and in the future.