A woman has received a national award for her work helping blind and partially sighted people in the area.
Jenny Pearce, 62, from Whissendine, has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
Jenny was one of just three people to receive the award at the institute’s annual meeting in Birmingham.
Jenny, who retired in December, spent the last 12 years of her career at local sight loss charity Vista.
She was recruited as the deputy chief executive in 2000, before taking over as chief executive in 2006.
Vista works to improve lives for people with sight loss and is the major service provider to people with sight loss in Rutland and Leicestershire.
During her leadership Jenny developed a new strategy which helped to sharpen Vista’s focus on early interventions for people who have recently lost their sight, and broadened the scope of the charity to include anyone affected by sight loss, not just those who are registered blind.
Jenny also chaired the national working group which developed the Adult UK sight loss pathway, which now forms a key part of the national UK Vision Strategy. Vista has led the work to deliver this strategy since it was first launched in 2008.
Jenny said: “I was really surprised to find out I’d be chosen to receive this award, and feel really honoured that my contribution has been recognised by the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
“I’m really proud of the difference Vista makes to lives of blind and partially sighted people, but none of it would have been possible without the support of the wonderful team at Vista.”
Kevin Carey, chairman of the Royal National Institute of Blind People, said: “We’re delighted to present Jenny with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with blind and partially sighted people.
“Under her expert leadership, Vista has gone from strength to strength, making a real difference to thousands of people in Rutland and Leicestershire with sight loss and is a good example of how national and local organisations can work together.”
Other recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 are Chris Friend of Lewes, Suffolk and Professor Alan Newell of Dundee.