Current Affairs

Guide Dogs names its new director of mobility services

Action For Blind People’s director of operations, Steve Vaid, will join Guide Dogs as director of mobility services in July 2013.

Steve will be leading Guide Dogs’ Mobility Services, which improves the mobility of people who are blind or partially sighted, enabling them to get out and about on their own terms and play an active role in society. He will be responsible for around 800 employees and a budget of £38.5million.

Guide Dogs’ research shows that there are some 180,000 blind and partially sighted people in the UK who rarely leave home alone; reaching these people will be one of Steve’s challenges.

Since 2010, he has been director of operations with Action for Blind People, which employs 750 staff and works to improve the lives of more than 40,000 people with sight loss every year.

Prior to this role, he has two decades of experience in the charity and private sector including work as the CEO of a young people’s charity, chair of a dementia charity and as a volunteer with disability organisations in Rwanda.

Richard Leaman, CEO of Guide Dogs, said: “We are delighted that Steve will be joining Guide Dogs, he has been a great partner and friend to us in his role at Action, and he brings with him a wealth of sector and leadership experience which will be invaluable in the years ahead as we seek to enable thousands more people with sight loss to get about on their own terms.”

Steve said: “I am excited and extremely privileged to be joining Guide Dogs. I have loved my work at Action and wouldn’t leave it for any other job but to lead Mobility Services at Guide Dogs was an opportunity too important to resist. My commitment is to build on all that is strong in Guide Dogs and support the development of our people, reach and impact to deliver more for blind and partially sighted people.”

Steve will leave Action for Blind People during May and after taking a short break, will join Guide Dogs in July. Guide Dogs’ current director of mobility services, Graham Smith, will retire in June after 38 years with the organisation.


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