Our board of trustees is the governing body of the Macular Society and is ultimately responsible for everything we do and how we do it.
Mr Timothy ffytche LVO, FRCS, FRCOphth
Timothy is a retired eye surgeon who specialised in medical retinal conditions, including macular disease and diabetes. He was a consultant at St Thomas’s Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital, and also at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD). Before he retired, he was chairman of the European region of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. He was a founding member of the Macular Society, having been approached by Elizabeth Thomas, and gave the opening lecture at its inaugural meeting in October 1987. He has been a member of its Council and a Trustee since then and was elected President of the Society in February 2021.
Mrs Cecilia Bufton BSc(Hons), MBA
Cecilia brings to the board her experiences of working in medical, pharmaceutical, digital health and wellbeing companies. A science graduate with an MBA focused on international strategic marketing and leadership training from the University of Oxford, her career has involved the development and delivery of products and services that help change the way healthcare is delivered.
Cecilia has created marketing campaigns to promote the understanding of the benefits of new approaches to health and care management and has been responsible for building technology enabled services and software apps for use in supported living environments. Cecilia enjoys yoga and is a keen gardener, recently becoming a Board Trustee for Plant Heritage, a national charity involved in the conservation of cultivated plants.
Vice Chair (Optometry)
Mrs Alison Guthrie BSc(Hons) MCOptom FBDO
Alison Guthrie is a registered optometrist and dispensing optician; she has a longstanding interest in low vision management and service provision. In the last 15 years she has been involved with visually impaired patients within the hospital eye service in both macular and low vision clinics. In addition she is involved in optometrist undergraduate training, postgraduate assessment and examining, fitness to practice and works in the voluntary sector in sub-Saharan Africa. She is currently researching the quality of life changes that result from vision loss.
Vice Chair (Finance)
Mr Paul Ryb
Paul currently holds board positions in the commercial, public and charity sectors, while also managing an investment portfolio for a private family office and advising on various social impact investment projects. He was managing director at the Royal Bank of Scotland operating within the global, banking and markets division having previously worked in the City of London for over 20 years at a number of investment banks.
Since losing his central vision in 2007 to macular dystrophy, he has joined a number of boards as a non-executive director, specialising in his areas of expertise: assisted technology, cyber security, angel investing and business strategy. He has also become involved in a number of sight charities including RNIB, the Macular Society and Blind in Business, where he continues to use his experiences in dealing with sight loss to benefit others.
In 2017 Paul became a non-executive director for Kings Access Tech Ltd and the NHS Mental Health Board (covering Barnet, Enfield, Haringey). Paul is a keen sportsman and has held the British number one VI Tennis title for the last three years. He has a brown belt in kickboxing and enjoys various extreme sports in the Alps every summer with his children including mountain biking, white water rafting and canyoning. Paul has two children and lives in London.
Miss Amanda Rowland
Amanda is a lawyer who worked in private practice in the City of London for over 20 years and was then a partner with PWC for 14 years before her retirement. She has specialist knowledge in financial and tax matters, as well as regulatory affairs. Amanda spends her time in retirement working with sight loss charities as a trustee and has picked up her interest in history and English literature to embark on some further study. Amanda has myopic macular degeneration, which became severe in her mid 40s requiring her to adjust to new ways of doing many things. Amanda became a trustee in 2020.
Mr Bill Best BA (Hons) Public Admin
Bill has central vision loss in both eyes through dry AMD. Now semi-retired, he was head of housing at a District Council for over 20 years. He then spent a similar amount of time as a senior manager in the private sector, leading both bidding and contract management teams on social housing related regeneration projects before setting up a specialist management consultancy with colleagues. Bill became a trustee in April 2018. He is a member of both the Manchester and Leeds W@M Groups.
Mr James Potter LL.M.
James is a visually impaired retired solicitor. He studied law in England and Ontario before moving to Vancouver where he was called to the Bar. James was sent to an eye specialist around 1996 and his eye condition was considered benign and forgotten about. Some years later in 2013, and now a solicitor in England, he began having lots problems with work and driving. On attending a routine eye test, James found that he had lost the central vision in his right eye. James felt that this was his dominant eye and it disturbed many aspects of his life. While trying to adjust to the diagnosis his previously hidden dyslexia came to the fore too. Feeling unable to continue in a senior legal role, James stepped down to a part-time position, which continued until 2020. James is now retired and keen to help others to adjust to visual impairment.
Mrs Jayne George
Jayne is the director of fundraising, marketing and media at RNLI.
Previously, Jayne has been director of fundraising and communications at Guide Dogs. Her achievements there have been to build a hugely successful senior team which achieved transformational and sustainable growth in voluntary and legacy income. Jayne has also worked internationally to advise charities and NGOs on fundraising, marketing and campaign strategies.
Jayne is an experienced and successful charity leader in the UK and has held senior positions at Save the Children, The Children’s Society as well as at the RNLI and at Guide Dogs. She volunteers as the chair of trustees for The Murray Parish Trust, a successful, small charity that has just closed its £2m appeal to build a new paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton Hospital. Jayne also serves on the board of the Weldmar Hospice based in Dorchester.
Jayne is currently collaborating with senior fundraisers globally to design an international leadership programme specifically aimed at growing both the number of, and the capability of senior fundraisers, across the world.
She is an active and passionate volunteer and campaigner. She supports causes close to her heart and has completed several challenges to raise money and inspire others to do the same.
Jayne lives with her husband, son and two teenage daughters in Bere Regis. To relax she sings, walks and practices yoga.
Mr Robin Hamilton MB BS DM(dist) FRCOphth
Robin Hamilton is a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital and honorary senior lecturer at the Institute of Ophthalmology, London. He has been the director of Moorfields medical retina service since 2016 and is also clinical lead for Moorfields AMD service and Chair of the Laser Safety Committee since 2008. He was the clinical lead for the diabetic eye screening program for north west London for three years and has run multiple service delivery training programmes for injection and medical retina services nationally and internationally.
His research interests include lasers for retinal disease, novel laser therapies, novel therapies for AMD, diabetic retinopathy and venous occlusive disease, service delivery and innovations in clinical pathways.
He has been a trustee for the Macular Society since September 2019.
Ms Sheena George MBBS, DO, FRCOphth
Ms Sheena George is a medical retinal consultant ophthalmologist, at Hillingdon Hospital in West London. Her special interests include diabetic retinopathy, AMD, retinal vein occlusions and cataract surgery. She leads an active Clinical trials Unit within her department, conducting numerous commercial and NIHR sponsored multi-centred clinical trials. Sheena has won local and national patient nominated awards for clinical excellence in providing an efficient and patient-centred Medical Retinal service. Sheena is also the clinical lead for the North West London Diabetic Eye Screening Programme, the largest in London.
Professor Sobha Sivaprasad DM, FRCS, FRCOphth
Professor Sobha Sivaprasad is a medical retina consultant ophthalmologist in Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and a professor in retinal clinical research in University College London. She received the Macular Society Rising Star Award in 2017 and she was named the NIHR RCOphth Researcher of the Year in 2017. Sobha specialises in medical retina conditions such as AMD, diabetes and other macular conditions. Her main research interests are clinical trials, imaging and risk prediction. Sobha works collaboratively with a large number of institutions both in the UK and globally. Sobha has been a trustee of the Macular Society since April 2019.