So here we are – the Christmas & New Year celebrations are over & another busy year has started. Continuing as President of JCI Southampton for 2012 I’d like to welcome you to what I’m sure will be another great year ahead.
It is JCI Southampton’s 53rd year &, as always, we willl be looking to put on the best cross-industry networking & personal development events in the region whilst also continuing to forge ahead with the tremendous charitable work that our members & friends alike achieve within the local community.
This brings me neatly to the team of people who are already working hard behind the scenes to make this happen – the 2012 JCI Southampton Council!
In no particular order:
Deputy President (and National & International Director): Michael Steel
Membership Director: Bill Smith
Business Director: Jack Turner
Networking Events & Special Projects Director: Claire Merritt
Marketing Director: Deepeka Dayal
Special Projects Co-ordinator: Catherine Day
There are still roles available if anyone is interested in helping out this year (including Community & Finance Director roles) – please just let me know.
Expect to be hearing from us all with details of some of the exciting events we have planned as the year goes on. As well as the usual training dinners and Turbo Thursday networking drinks, we’ll have lots of opportunities to get together with like-minded professionals including business visits, social occasions & fundraising events. More details to follow soon!
Please also remember that if you have any ideas about brilliant events we can run we are always keen to hear about them – just let us know.
Onto the President’s Nominated Charity – as some of you will be aware, each year the President nominates a local charity which JCI Southampton will support in any way it can through the year. This year I have nominated Gift of Sight. The Gift of Sight Appeal was established in 2004 with the aim of funding world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness.
The Gift of Sight Eye Research Centre is based at Southampton General Hospital. Its main areas of research are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, inherited retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and childhood conditions such as nystagmus.
Its researchers combine laboratory research with treating patients in weekly clinics. This enables them to bring insights from the research laboratory directly to patients. Currently they have collected DNA samples from over 700 patients with age related macular degeneration, 600 DNA samples from glaucoma patients and several hundred DNA samples from patients with inherited retinal diseases or nystagmus. These sample collections allow the team to identify genetic risk factors for eye disease which enables them to determine better treatments for affected patients. In addition they are involved in multiple clinical trials particularly for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Since 2004 the combined research efforts of the team and colleagues around the world have resulted in a significant number of patients with wet AMD now having treatment that brings a significant improvement to their sight. Patients across the UK can drive, read and go out independently again.
Gift of Sight is managed by the University of Southampton and is part of the Development and Alumni Relations team. Working with the University, the JCI Southampton team will be looking to help with their fundraising in any way we can. All donations help the team to continue with their vital sight saving work. We’ll be letting you know via a separate communication how you can help the appeal in other ways besides standard donations!
Don’t forget that we also support many other charities through the year with ‘Active Citizenship’ work programmes within the local community & individual fund-raising events. We already have some great plans up our sleeves to further enhance the amazing work we’ve achieved over the last couple of years. Watch this space!
That’s enough from me for now…. On behalf of the Council, we look forward to meeting you at a JCI Southampton event in the near future!
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Drew Charman