Vision UK announce winners of their new awards

  • 16 Oct 2019
  • RCOphth

The RCOphth is delighted to share the news that Jugnoo Rahi, RCOphth Academic Chair and Lola Solebo won awards alongside a high quality line up of nominations at the Vision UK Forward View Eye Health and Sight Loss Conference held in collaboration with the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) in October 2019.

Jugnoo was the winner of the Astbury Award, which recognises excellence in collaboration within the eye health and sight loss sector. She was recognised for her work in paediatric ophthalmology and prevention, treatment and alleviation of childhood blindness through collaboration in research and service provision over her whole career.

The winner of the Excellence in Research, Cures and Treatments award was Lola Solebo and the team for their project focusing on Intra-ocular lens implantation in children under 2 years with congenital/infantile cataract (IoLu2 study). Lola and the team were also recognised earlier in the year for the same research project as winners of The Ulverscroft David Owen Prize by the RCOphth and Ulverscroft Foundation.

Jugnoo Rahi says “It is an honour to receive this award, in particular for research made possible by clinical colleagues contributing via the collaborative networks established for several of our research programmes over the years. We should all be proud that Paediatric Ophthalmology in the UK is world leading for the quality of its collaborative research that benefits children and young people with eyes and vision conditions and their families.”

The Vision UK awards focus on the recognition of work across key themes:

  • Evidence and statistics
  • Services, support and care
  • Research, cures and treatments

All five awards were presented at the after-conference reception by Nigel Clarke, Chair of Vision UK and Michele Acton, CEO of the RSM. The awards were sponsored by Mr Nick Astbury, the former Chair of Vision 2020 UK and the winner of the inaugural award.

The winners and nominees

The Vision UK Award for Excellence in Evidence and Statistics 2019 had 3 nominees: Professor Irene Stratton, Ms Parul Desai and jointly: Professor Jugnoo Rahi, Ms Lola Solebo, Mrs Phillippa Cumberland.

Professor Jugnoo Rahi, Ms Lola Soleba and Mrs Phillippa Cumberland were awarded a Highly Commended certificate for systematic evidence reviews. The winner was Irene Stratton, who was awarded for work achieved across her whole career working in diabetic eye disease.

The Vision UK John Thompson Award for Excellence in Services, Support and Care 2019 had 6 nominees: Amanda Hawkins and Dr Mhairi Thurston, Devon in Sight; Henshaws; NHS England Optometry Learning Disability Stakeholder Working Group; Seeing Beyond the Eyes team; and the Starting Point Working Group.

Amanda Hawkins and Dr Mhairi Thurston were awarded a Highly Commended Certificate for the Counselling for Sight Loss Accreditation Course. The Winner was Daniel Williams, Jayshree Vasani and Peter Black for the Seeing Beyond the Eyes project.

The David Burt OBE Award, which awards research and projects around the prevention of sight loss had 2 nominees: The Seeing Beyond the Eyes team and Subhash Suthar from International Glaucoma Association (IGA).

The winner was Subhash Suthar, Development Manager at the IGA for his career contributions to eye care and eye health.

The Vision UK Astbury Award which recognises excellence in collaboration within the eye health and sight loss sector, 2019 had 7 nominees: NHS England Optometry Learning Disability Stakeholder Working Group; Professor Jugnoo Rahi; Ms Parul Desai; RNIB UK Practice and Development Team; Seeing Beyond the Eyes team; Mr Simon Labbett; and Vision Greater Manchester.

Simon Labbett was awarded a Highly Commended Certificate for promoting the profession of Visual Impairment Rehabilitation. The Winner was Professor Jugnoo Rahi.


Matt Broom, CEO Vision UK, said: “We are delighted by the range and value of the work represented by the nominees and winners of our awards. By celebrating success we can inspire and encourage the great work going on in the eye health and sight loss sector. The Astbury Award is particularly important as it celebrates the power of collaboration to make change which is key to all the work of Vision UK.”

Notes for Editors

For more information about Vision UK please visit their website.

Vision UK is the independent partnership organisation which will work with other organisations in the eye health and sight loss sector for the benefit of blind and partially sighted people, their communities and the general population including those at risk of sight loss.
Vision UK is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and part of the VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative. This is an initiative led in partnership by the World Health Organization, and the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, for the elimination of avoidable blindness.

Information on the Nominees are available here.