Laura Westcott, Founder
Laura created Sound for Sight after discovering her friend, Yvette Chivers, has a degenerative sight loss condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. RP affects two million people’s periphery vision and will gradually worsen until a treatment is found. Optometrists say a cure will be found in our lifetime.
Laura wanted to raise funds and awareness for RP and lesser known visual impairments, so she decided to wear sight-loss simulators for one week (no cheating).
The final day of her challenge was World Sight Day – a perfect reason to celebrate and empathise for what we have and do not have. Laura runs a music agency called Soundcheque and threw together a last-minute concert with incredible musicians from multiple genres. Laura asked the audience to wear her “sim specs” during the gig to experience the enhanced awareness of sound when you take away the visual element. It was a really unique and intimate concert – so we’re doing more!
Yvette Chivers, Ambassador
Yvette was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 23. After coming through a long denial phase, Yvette is is now using her music skills and connections as the manager of Wolfgang Flür (from Kraftwerk) to help raise awareness of RP and other sight conditions. She started DJing electronic music in 2005 which quickly developed into playing out for an eclectic range of promoters and venues, including the Ministry Of Sound and an array of festivals. She is also the Founder of the B-Side Project, a global remix endeavour.
In recent years her expertise have also come to include live broadcasting, and she has produced and presented radio shows, including the Secret Garden Party festival. She now hosts “The Remix Review” on Hoxton FM and manages a live internet streaming team, comprising of experienced technicians, engineers, broadcast assistants and presenters. She has most certainly not let her progressive sight loss slow her down!
David Stileman, Ambassador
David co-founded ‘Seeing is Believing‘, Standard Chartered’s sight restoration charity, raising over $60m. He is also a Consultant to Standard Chartered for Art and Design of new offices around the world, and is actively involved with the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the 2014/15 Lord Mayor of London’s Charitable Appeal and The Garden Bridge.
David was appointed Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank in Asia in 1993 and Chief Executive of Corporate Finance in 1994. He became Group Head of Corporate Development and was responsible for acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and stock exchange listings. From 2007 to 2011 David was Chief Executive Officer, Americas and subsequently became Chairman of Americas.
David is on the Advisory Boards of Corsair Capital LLP, California based FTV Capital, the UK Advisory Board of Silicon Valley Bank, and is a Director of F&C Global Smeller Companies plc and British American Business.
Stephen Pell, Business Advisor
Stephen is a Chartered Accountant and Tax Advisor who provides business management, international tax and accounting services to music professionals. He is a specialist in EIS and SEIS qualifying companies to enhance the growth and stability of new music and the infrastructure that supports the changing music landscape. He is a published author and regularly contributes to the media on music business matters.