Meet The Team

Lisa Cowley

Lisa Cowley

Chief Executive Officer

Lisa’s role encompasses overseeing the development and delivery of all Beacon’s care and support services, stimulating new ideas and innovation as well as creating new partnerships and collaborations which help Beacon provide better services. Through Lisa’s strategic vision, Beacon aims to truly make a visible difference to those living with sight loss.

“I have always worked within the Charity sector, which has been a conscious decision of mine as I’m really passionate about making a difference. I feel very lucky to be part of the team at Beacon, who are all so driven to support others, improve people’s prospects and change perceptions. Working together, I am confident we will help create a society where individuals value and protect their sight and a visual impairment does not limit or determine opportunities.

“Beacon has an ambitious vision for the future and we look forward to you joining us to turn it into a reality, be that as a customer, team member, partner or supporter.”

Email Lisa at

Jan Burns MBE

Health & Wellbeing Director


Jan, a Registered Social worker, has over 40 years of working in health and social care settings – she has worked at a variety of levels both locally, regionally and Nationally.  Jan started her career as a meals and wheels driver, progressed to delivering care services, managing Care services, inspected care services and took a leading role with Skills for Care to devise and deliver occupational standards across the Care Sector. 

Jan semi retired in 2010 and set up her own consultancy business, supporting people to find appropriate care services, auditing and monitoring care practices and delivering learning and development programme specifically on Management Development and CQC standards.  Jan is chair of the National Dignity Council and earned an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list for her services to Dignity.

Jan joined the Beacon Family as Trustee in 2015 and to support the Integration and remodelling of the Health and Wellbeing team, to provide a responsive and effective service to people with Sight Loss and those impacted by sight loss – Jan took up the role of Director in 2019.  She now strategically manages our Living, Lifestyle, Engagement, Employment and Business Support Team.

Email Jan at 


Our trustees play a vital role in guiding and leading Beacon and its staff to achieve its charitable objectives.

Kathy Roper

Chair of Trustees

Kathy joined Beacon as a volunteer in January 2019 and became a Trustee in August of the same year. Kathy has been an active member of the Beacon family since 2018, after being diagnosed severely visually impaired.  

Kathy retired from her career as a Social Care Commissioner at Wolverhampton City Council and felt she had the range of skills that could be beneficial to the organisation that will also support Beacon’s mission.  

“In my spare time I am a Trustee for another charity, I play the piano flute and guitar and I have recently developed a passion for crocheting. I hope what I also bring to the Board is a positive image of what a person living with sight loss can achieve, whilst not ignoring the challenges.“

Philip Turner


Philip has extensive experience in the Financial sector and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Philip has been a Trustee of a Youth Club in Everton and was also the finance governor of a local primary school for 10 years. Philip joined Beacon as Trustee in February 2020.

“Beacon is a well-known established local charity providing support for the visually impaired I have throughout my career worked extensively in and with the charitable sector and want to contribute back into society by using the experience. Beacon have give me this opportunity.”

Ian Bowers


A former dispensing optician and contact lens specialist Ian brings a wealth of experience to his role as a trustee at Beacon.

He has also worked extensively with charities across the world that are connected with visual impairment.

He said: “Working with Beacon has been a new learning curve for me, finding out how it works and how my past experiences can help improve the lives of people with visual impairment. I’m amazed at the dedication of the team especially during this past year with the Coronavirus and trust we can reach out to more and more people.”

Jeanette Suwe


Having retired from a career in adult social care management Jeanette has joined Beacon to make good on her pledge to undertake voluntary work.

With personal and professional experience of how sight loss affects people in day to day living she says she is looking forward to making a contribution to the work that Beacon is driving forward.

She said: “I have come across the Beacon Centre on a number of occasions and was impressed by the organisation’s wide range.”

Karen Scott


A qualified nurse for more than 40 years as well as a former Occupational Health Advisor at the City of Wolverhampton Council, Karen brings a wealth of experience to her role as a trustee at Beacon.

Now retired, due to chronic eye disease which left her with poor visual acuity in both eyes, she’s enjoyed a range of hobbies since retirement including audiobooks, walking with her husband, dog sitting and gardening. She also describes herself as a long-suffering Wolves season ticket holder!

However, she says she had a yearning for more and describes herself as ‘very much looking forward’ to serving as a Trustee at Beacon where she hopes her skills acquired over many years will be of bene

Richard Ennis


Richard is a Partner for Rees Page Solicitors in Wolverhampton, specialising in litigation and employment law.

Richard joined the Trustee Board in 2004 and has been supporting our cause ever since, through campaigning and fundraising. 

“Being involved in Beacon is an opportunity to put something back into the community, and to contribute to the oversight of a fantastic charity which has a very dedicated set of staff and volunteers who go all out to make a difference and it is a real privilege to be able to participate.” 

Beth Wynn-Williams


Beth has experience working in education, regeneration, and skills, commissioning children’s services, and most recently, supporting careers and enterprise in schools.
Beth has worked on projects as a development officer, with a wide range of stakeholders in the voluntary, private, and public sectors.
She said: “I was diagnosed with a genetic eye condition a few years ago and feel I am still coming to terms with changes in my vision and how this can affect everyday life.
“It was quite a shock to be diagnosed with an eye condition and having to come to terms with the fact that my eyesight may change in the future. Being in contact with other people with similar experiences and knowing that there is support is really important.”
Beth has been a Trustee at Beacon since 2021 and hopes she can use her experience of working on a range of projects for the board of Trustees as well as her own experience of having a visual impairment.
Beth says, ‘My first experience of the Beacon Centre was coming to an evening wedding reception here almost 25 years ago, so I had a limited view of the organisation then, although I knew that it was a long and well-established institution. Now, having an eye condition myself, I know how important Beacon is to people living with sight loss.
“I feel very privileged to be able to work with my fellow Trustees and support Beacon in making a difference in the local community.”


Sharon Phillips


Sharon has worked for 20 years in education and training, specialising in digital and accessible learning. She now works in healthcare learning and development and has previously spent time as a parish councillor.  

“I have been aware of Beacon as a local charity for many years and am really looking forward to getting to know the charity better and am very happy to have the opportunity to contribute to their fantastic work.”

Clive Small


 Clive qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1978 and has substantial experience in the profession, central and local government (Head of Finance for Wolverhampton CC) and industry.  He joined Beacon as a trustee in 2023.

I have known of Beacon since 1973 when I started as a student at what is now Wolverhampton University and always felt it was an excellent charity.  I am looking forward to being able to contribute. Though I never thought it would take me 50 years to become involved.