One win and two nominations in national charity awards – Vision Foundation

One win and two nominations in national charity awards

Olivia Curno, the Vision Foundation’s chief executive, has been recognised in the Charity Times Awards 2020 as the winner of the Rising Leader of the Year Award.

The award marks a huge achievement for Olivia, who joined the Vision Foundation in September 2018 in her first role as CEO.

This news come as we’ve also been shortlisted for two awards at the national Third Sector Excellence Awards 2020.

a graphic of a water splash with a solid award trohy and words: Third Sector Awards Shortlisted 2020

The Third Sector Excellence Awards celebrate best practice in the UK charity sector, with the Vision Foundation being nominated for Breakthrough of the Year for the innovative #BlindLockdownLife campaign and Rising Chief Executive for CEO Olivia Curno.

Results will be announced over the course of two virtual awards ceremonies on 7 and 8 October, 2020.


Our nomination for Breakthrough of the Year comes after our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blind Lockdown Life was a powerful vlogging campaign featuring blind and partially sighted people in London talking from the heart about the unique challenges they were facing during lockdown, including food shopping, navigating their way around and increased feelings of isolation.

All the content was captured via Zoom during lockdown, then edited and streamed via a series of Facebook adverts, and boosted through paid and organic posts.

The campaign exceeded all expectations with some high-profile celebrity endorsements, including Phillip Schofield and Stephen Fry, a 65% increase in our Facebook audience, 71% increase in followers and a huge uplift in visibility.

Most importantly the campaign saw us strengthen the voice for blind and partially sighted people across London and provide a platform for their experiences and perspectives.


In the 20 months since she took over as CEO of Vision Foundation, Olivia has led the transformation of the charity, driven by a determination to build an organisation that serves the significant and unmet needs of blind and partially sighted people in London. Under her leadership, in close partnership with our out-going Chair Anna Tylor, the Vision Foundation has built a talented team and board who have been able to improve the charity’s governance, grant-making, policies, brand and fundraising, such that income has already increased by 65% and giving by 265% over the last year.