Voluntary Sector: Sight Savers woos Bines from Save the Children

Eyecare charity Sight Savers International has lured Save the Children director of supporter relations and fundraising John Bines to take its top comms post as it embarks on its largest awareness campaign.

Billed as the 'Big Eye-Opener', the charity is using a website, www.bigeyeopener.org, to promote the initiative, as well as direct marketing that will see around two million specially produced leaflets delivered to homes over the summer.

Bines has joined as director of fundraising and communications, a post left vacant when Jennie Meadows decided to go freelance in mid-June.

Bines, who spent nearly two years in his role at Save the Children, said his move was prompted by a desire to 'work with an organisation where the impact is so clear and tangible'. He also highlighted Sight Savers' global reach.

'My long-term plans are to raise the profile of Sight Savers, generate awareness of the work done by the charity and grow income,' he explained.

'We have an amazing opportunity to draw attention to the fact that three out of four people who are blind in the world need not be so.' He said his immediate task was planning for communications around World Sight Day on 13 October.

'This will be supported by integrated PR and marketing, as will a further campaign around Christmas,' he said, adding that the charity was 'hoping to do more work with celebrities such as Joanna Lumley and Debra Winger'.

Lumley recently visited Bangladesh to promote Sight Savers' campaign to restore sight to 10,000 children blinded by cataracts.

The trip generated national UK media coverage, including slots on daytime TV such as This Morning and the BBC's Breakfast.

Bines is a former group marketing director for AXA UK, and has held senior posts at Lloyds TSB and Royal & SunAlliance.

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