‘I feel so incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work for such a wonderful organisation’

Posted: Friday 12 January 2024
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After nearly a decade of dedicated service the Macular Society chief executive, Cathy Yelf has announced her decision to retire in 2024.

Cathy joined the Society as head of external affairs in 2008 before becoming chief executive in 2015.

While she will be leaving the organisation this year, she has agreed to stay on until a new chief executive is in post. 

Cathy said: “The Macular Society is rooted in the passion and determination of its early founders—Elizabeth Thomas and esteemed ophthalmologists Amresh Chopdar and Timothy ffytche. Their shared vision, initiated 37 years ago, aimed to provide essential support to individuals living with macular disease and raise critical funds for research.

“We have maintained this passion over more than 30 years and remain dedicated to Beating Macular Disease, through vital information and support as well as new treatments and cures.

“I am immensely proud and privileged to have had the opportunity to work for, and lead, such a fantastic organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of people  affected by this devastating disease.”

Under Cathy's leadership, the Macular Society has witnessed substantial progress. The charity is now a leading funder of macular research in the UK and a powerful voice for people with macular disease.

In the last 15 years treatments for several types of wet age-related macular degeneration have come into use, saving the sight of many millions of people, or at least significantly delaying that devastating result. And, in the UK we hope soon to see another significant milestone with the long-awaited, first therapy for advanced dry AMD (geographic atrophy).

She added: “Every day dedicated researchers are learning more and bringing new treatments ever closer. It’s a very exciting time and I am very grateful for their wonderful work.

“I am also immensely thankful for the support I have had from our  committed Board of Trustees, and our exceptional staff whose commitment to Beating Macular Disease remains unwavering.”

She added: “CEOs past and present know only too well that there is always much more to do. It’s time to bring in fresh ideas and energy to raise the Macular Society, and its crucial work, to new heights." 

Recruitment for a new chief executive will begin immediately.  

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