Mandy Thompson

Vice Chair
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I was born in the north of England, brought up in the south, lived in the east and have lived near Peterborough for nearly forty years.

After graduating in Economics, I worked as a junior manager at the Post Office until leaving to have children – I have two daughters. We lived in Kuwait for several years before returning to the UK and taking over a catering business. We soon realised that we were not cut out for that life! The next move was to become a braille transcriber at Royal National Institute for the Blind. I worked there for nearly twenty years, always involved in producing accessible information for those unable to read “normal” print. Over the years this involved taking staff and volunteers through the changes that technology brought – from six-key input using a braille typewriter to computers and braille translation software and from analogue production of audio (tape) to digital production. I was also involved in discussions with publishers to persuade them to let us use their electronic files so that we could produce large print, braille or synthetic audio directly, avoiding the laborious scanning of print that was our only alternative.

I left RNIB in 2010, at a time when I lost a lot of my own vision due to complications of diabetes. Since then I have volunteered in several charities including Friends of Peterborough Prison and Samaritans, as well as what was the local sight loss charity, Peterborough Association for the Blind.

These roles brought me into contact with PCVS. As well as taking advantage of some great training that PCVS was offering at the time I also met Leonie McCarthy, then CEO of PCVS. After a discussion with her when I was probably less than polite about some of the things that PCVS was doing at the time she challenged me to become a trustee and help the organisation work better with local charities and other stakeholders in Peterborough.

I have been a trustee for about nine years and now serve as Vice Chair. My other interests include genealogy and local history, as well as spending time with my children and three grandchildren.

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