Our trustees

Sarah Boiling (Chair)

Sarah Boiling is a freelance cultural consultant specialising in audience and organisational development. She spent eight years as Deputy Director at The Audience Agency, and started working independently in September 2015. She specialises in bringing cultural organisations closer to audiences, through research, training, consultancy and facilitation, and her clients include Into Film, Poole Museums, the British Council, Akademi,  East London Cultural Education Partnership, and the BFI Film Audience Network.

Jonathan Abro

Jonathan Abro is a Freelance IT Software Development Project Manager specialising in large Corporate Projects and in making all applications accessible to people of all abilities and impairments. Jonathan grew up in a farming community in Zululand in South Africa before living in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. He has been living in London since the mid 1990s. His passion is for travel and has spent (and continues to spend) as much time as he can exploring some far flung places.

Jonathan is registered blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), he has been on the Management Committee of RP Fighting Blindness, designed and managed their website for 15 years and continues to provide support for their London Group.

The first time he attended an audio-described play he was so amazed at the difference that he was constantly telling Annie, his partner, what was going on on stage, a complete role reversal! He joined VocalEyes to try and help other people experience this same pleasure.

Robin Davies

Robin is a long-time resident of West London, where he lives with his partner of thirty years, Robin lost his sight in 2003 due to an inherited condition called Best disease, and stood down from his then role as Vice President Marketing and Sales for the EMEA division of an international car rental company. After some time as an independent marketing consultant, Robin took a short course at the Royal College for the Blind in Hereford, which led to a role with the charity Scope for two years and a final move to City University, London, working as the Business Development Manager for the Health Sciences School.

Retired from full-time employment in 2010, Robin remains active in the local community with participation in drama, singing and writing groups. A lifelong theatre and film goer, he has found the increasing provision of audio description across a wide range of artistic and cultural activities enormously encouraging and inclusive. Robin supports the blind community with volunteer work and participation as much as possible.

Sharon Heal

Sharon is the Director of the Museums Association, a professional membership organisation that campaigns to promote the value of museums to society. She was formally the Head of Publications and Events at the MA and the editor of Museums Journal, the association’s monthly news and features magazine and was also responsible for programming and managing the MA’s annual conference. Sharon is on the board of several charities including VocalEyes.

Her background is in journalism, event creation and policy. She has lectured in journalism, the history of museums and museum ethics and has judged prizes and awards including the Clore Award for Museum Learning. She has written extensively about museums and cultural heritage and contributed a chapter to Museums and Public Value (Carol A Scott, Ashgate). She regularly comments on museums and cultural policy in the UK.

Timandra Nichols

Timandra is the co-founder of Arts&Heritage, an arts agency that works with museums and heritage organisations to develop contemporary art projects that resonate with context and history. She has led two national arts organisations as Chief Executive – Axis, the online resource for contemporary art and the National Glass Centre in Sunderland. In the public sector she has worked for Arts Council England and as an arts officer for both Northumberland and Hampshire County Councils. She is a fellow of the RSA. Timandra is a Liveryman of the Salters’ Company and a volunteer tour guide which is how she was introduced to VocalEyes and the benefits of audio description.

Lynette Shanbury

Lynette joined Polka Theatre as Executive Director and Joint CEO in August 2018, following nearly 4 years at participatory arts company Spare Tyre, where she helped to strengthen the financial position of the company and develop major new strands of partnership work. Prior to that she spent 8 years at Little Angel Theatre in Islington, moving from General Manager to Executive Director during that time. Before joining Little Angel Theatre she was a Researcher & Evaluator for Arts & Business, bringing cultural sector organisations together with corporate partners. Lynette has previously been a Trustee for Scarabeus Aerial Theatre.

Karen Townsend

Karen has worked extensively in theatre production, visual arts and film. Her passion is to ensure that the arts are accessible to everyone. In her past roles she has researched and identified new approaches, strategies, and creative initiatives, raising the profile and access to, theatre. Developing the perception of access to theatre within both the arts and education sector and the wider public.

Her current role working for Scottish Drama Training Network within the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland aims to ensure HE and Creative Industry are working in partnership to ensure the talent of the UK’s future talent.

BA from University of Glasgow, Fellow or the RSA, part of the Clore community and LRAM.

Joanna Wood

Joanna is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Sussex on the Leverhulme Trust project ‘Women and the History of International Thought’. She researches US women writing international thought between 1919 and 1979. Previously she read History at Cambridge and an MA in International Relations at Sussex. Before the PhD she worked in access and inclusion across education, arts and heritage.

She started losing her sight in 2014 through unexpected (and still unexplained) retinal detachments and was registered sight impaired in 2016. A lifelong theatre and museum goer she had accepted that these were a thing of the past until her sister got her tickets to an audio-described performance of Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2017: ‘I felt like a whole person for the first time in three years — it was transformative.’

Since then she’s gone to as many performances as humanly possible and is passionate about everyone having the same opportunity. She’s also a Trustee of the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People.