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Charity Talk: The power of plain speaking - how a small charity punches way above its weight
Derek Holder Memorial Lecture
Wednesday 23rd June 2021
From 17:15 for a 17:30 start
Where: Online Event
The speaker at this event will Dr Lucy Mathen, Founder of Second Sight. She is an ophthalmologist and former journalist, who has helped over 450,000 of India’s poorest people to have their sight restored and countless others prevented from going blind.
Lucy will talk about how her career in journalism and ophthalmology enabled her to take a determinedly idiosyncratic approach in her ambition to restore sight to the poorest in rural north India - with remarkable results.
About the speaker
Lucy Mathen started her career as a print journalist working for the Surrey Mirror newspaper in the mid 1970s. She went on to become the BBC’s first female Asian news reporter on national television when she began working for John Craven’s Newsround in 1976.
She continued her career in TV journalism until a life-changing decision in 1988. Whilst making a documentary with an all-female camera crew about women and children in Afghanistan, she interviewed a hard-pressed local doctor. This led her to question her role and purpose as a journalist. Within a year, she was a medical student at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London.
Lucy chose ophthalmology as her specialty. In 1997 she went to India to take part in a surgical training course and was exposed for the first time to the huge problem of curable blindness. In the year 2000, having travelled the breadth of north India visiting eye hospitals, she established that, contrary to what was generally accepted by NGOs working in India, it was the paucity of eye surgeons in areas of greatest need that was the core problem. So she launched the charity Second Sight with just £5,000 from musician Mark Knopfler and the goodwill of her colleagues in the NHS.
The charity’s very different modus operandi – no salaries, no expenses, no office and a minimum of admin, coupled with a maximum of hands-on experience working alongside teams at remote eye hospitals – was not universally approved by existing sight charities. 20 years on Second Sight’s track record speaks for itself – well over 450,000 of India’s poorest people with sight restored and countless others prevented from going blind.
About The Derek Holder Legacy Trust
Professor Derek Holder was the co-founder and managing director of IDM. He helped to establish direct marketing as a respected and respectable discipline, as well as a desirable professional career choice.
He left a considerable legacy to IDM Trust that he wished to be devoted to education. The trust funds initiatives that encourage and equip the most talented young people in each generation to enter the data driven marketing profession, as well as raising standards of professional practice throughout.
The Foundation has long had a relationship with the Centre for Charity Effectiveness and they provide a bursary which supports up to 5 students through the Centre’s Master’s programme each year. They also annually sponsor one of the Centre’s evening Charity Talks.
With their support we are delighted to be able to be hosting Dr Lucy Mathen, founder of Second Sight, at the Derek Holder Memorial Lecture: ‘The power of plain speaking’ on the 23rd June 2021.
Recent Charity Talks and Webinars
Lived Experience on nonprofit boards (15th April 2021)
Webinar: Lived Experience on nonprofit boards
Thursday 15th April 2021 16:00-17:00
Caroline Copeman (Senior Visiting Fellow), Fiona Ash (Visiting Fellow) and Jacqueline Williams (CCE consultant), from CCE’s governance team, explore Lived Experience on nonprofit boards, marking the launch of CCE's new resource on this important topic. The discussion considered the benefits and value to boards of including trustees with lived experience, and how to overcome some of the barriers and issues that may be encountered.
Respond, reset, recover: COVID-19 and the VCSE sector (23rd March 2021)
Webinar: Respond, reset, recover: COVID-19 and the VCSE sector, 12 months in and what lessons have we learnt?
Tuesday 23rd March 2021 17:30-18:30
12 months in, what are the key lessons we are learning about the way that the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is being impacted by and has responded to COVID-19?
In this presentation, Professor Daniel King highlighted some of the key lessons being learnt from the ESRC project being conducted with NCVO, bringing out the implications for theory, policy and practice.
Demystifying Social Finance and Social Investment (10th March 2021)
Webinar: Demystifying Social Finance and Social Investment
Wednesday 10th March 2021 17:30-18:45
In this webinar, Mark Salway and Jim Clifford discussed their recently published book ‘Demystifying Social Finance and Social Investment’. They were joined by Dr Peter Grant and guest chair Daniella Barone Soares as they introduced a forthcoming series of related learning events about social finance and social investment for nonprofits.
About CCE Charity Talks
Hear charity leaders share their expertise on the challenges facing the sector. This evening lecture series has welcomed over 10,000 attendees since it was founded 25 years ago.
Format of Charity Talks
Our Charity Talks are split into the following three sections:
- Presentation – by a leading figure in the sector of a current key issue facing people in nonprofit organisations
- Response – from a top academic or consultant broadening out the topic to develop the issues and offering guidance for action
- Discussion – an opportunity for the audience to question, debate and share their ideas.
Charity Talks Archive
Professional Development Programmes
Take a look at our wide range of professional development programmes offered throughout the year.