Blind Veterans UK chief executive Robert Leader dies

Leader had been head of the charity that supports visually impaired former forces personnel for the past 13 years

Robert Leader
Robert Leader

Robert Leader, chief executive of Blind Veterans UK, has died from cancer aged 66, the charity has announced.

Blind Veterans UK, which supports visually impaired former forces personnel, said that Leader died on Thursday morning.

Leader, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in January, had led the charity for the past 13 years.

Notable achievements at the charity during his tenure included overseeing its name change from St Dunstan’s in 2012, and changing its constitution so that it could offer support to ex-servicemen and women regardless of the cause of their sight-loss.

Tim Davis, chair of Blind Veterans UK, said Leader’s death was a "terrible loss".

"Robert will be remembered not only for his exceptional leadership and professional achievements, but also for his personal warmth, kindness and his lasting commitment to helping blinded ex-servicemen and women," he said. "He will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of working with and, indeed, knowing him."

Leader was also vice-chair of the Confederation of Service Charities and chair of the British members council of the World Veterans Federation.

Barry Porter, the director of welfare services at Blind Veterans UK, has been appointed interim chief executive while a permanent replacement for Leader is sought.

Andy Ricketts

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