New Directors for Scotland's largest sight loss charity

Press Release | 26/11/2018

Scotland’s largest vision impairment organisation has announced the appointment of two new Directors as it celebrates its 225th Anniversary.

Hawys Kilday (pictured top right), currently Assistant Director of Children’s Services for Barnardos, has been appointed to the position of Director of Services by Royal Blind. Stephen Coulter (bottom right) will take up the role of Director of Corporate Resources, a position shared by Royal Blind and its sister charity, Scottish War Blinded.

Hawys kilday portrait

Over the last decade, Royal Blind has gone through a period of significant growth, with the establishment of a number of new services for children and adults with sight loss of all ages. In 2018, the charity opened its second care home for older people with sight loss in Paisley. This followed growth in services for both children and younger adults in previous years.

Scottish War Blinded has also undergone significant expansion in recent years, opening a second activity centre in Paisley, and seen a large increase in national membership to almost 1200 and growing. 

The senior Services post will lead the way in mapping and developing new service provision across Scotland, as well as overseeing the management of Royal Blind’s existing services which include the Royal Blind School, education outreach services, an after-school and holiday club and care homes for both older and younger adults with sight loss and additional support needs.

Stephen Coulter portrait

MBA educated, Mrs Kilday has a background of leadership positions in the education, health and social care sectors. She started her career in the NHS and prior to Barnardos was Chief Executive of Caledonia Youth and Director of Brook in Scotland.

Also MBA educated, Mr Coulter will lead both organisations across essential support functions – Finance, HR, IT and Facilities - required to enable services and support the 600-plus staff employed by Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded.  He is currently Head of Resources and Governance at Clackmannanshire Council.  Previous experience include executive-level roles in Education Scotland, the Scottish Court Service and the Scottish Prison Service. 

Hawys Kilday said: “I am delighted to be joining such well-loved organisations at a pivotal time and am looking forward to the challenges and developments ahead.”

Stephen Coulter said: "I'm delighted to be joining Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded at the time Royal Blind is celebrating its 225th anniversary. It's an organisation with a great history, a fabulous track record of work for people with sight loss and I'm very much looking forward to being part of its future"

Mark O’Donnell, Chief Executive of Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded said: “In the next few decades, the number of people with sight loss is projected to double to almost 400,000. Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded are embarking on separate strategic reviews that will outline how we will strengthen, build upon and expand our existing service provision to ensure that we can support an increasing number of people with vision impairment and specifically for veterans, in Scottish War Blinded’s case. I am delighted to have Hawys and Stephen on board as new Directors at this exciting time for both organisations.”

Mrs Kilday and Mr Coulter will take on the positions in early January.