We will be changing our name to Glaucoma UK in summer 2020.
What’s in a name? Well, as it turns out, a lot. The decision to change our name follows lengthy discussions with patients and professionals about how we can reach more people affected by glaucoma in the UK. When we reviewed the evidence, we found that our current name is holding us back: many people don’t realise we are a charity, and many don’t think we offer support services to people in the UK.
That means we aren’t able to help them. Our members and supporters overwhelmingly felt the name ‘International Glaucoma Association’ doesn’t accurately describe what we do.
As a membership organisation, we need to do all we can to increase visibility among people affected by glaucoma, and be as inclusive as possible so that we can accurately convey the patient perspective and advocate for services that meet peoples’ real needs. That means being clear about who we are and what we do, and we feel the name ‘Glaucoma UK’ helps us achieve that clarity.
Changing our name isn’t a decision we have taken lightly.
Last year we reviewed evidence that had be collected over time from people using our helpline and support groups, and who we’ve met at events and awareness weeks. We also commissioned a survey of the general public to help us understand awareness of glaucoma and the IGA. While 80% of respondents had heard of glaucoma, 73% weren’t aware of any charity that supports people with the condition.
That’s something we want to change.
After careful consideration of all the evidence, our board of trustees – comprising both patients and medical professionals – agreed the change, which will happen in summer. In practical terms that means creating a new and exciting visual identity for the charity. We are also reviewing our support and advice materials and making sure they are as accessible as possible. All this alongside developing a new website that will make it easier for you to manage your relationship with us and find the information and help you need.
To those of you who kindly donate or subscribe via Direct Debit, and to those of you who have generously left us a gift in your Will, please rest assured that there is no need to amend your instructions. Glaucoma UK will become our ‘brand name’ and our new public face, but the IGA will remain our legal identity. Our charity and company numbers won’t change, so donations and payments made to either ‘Glaucoma UK’ or to ‘the International Glaucoma Association’ will be honoured. But if you have any questions please do just give us a call.
This is an opportunity for us to reach more of the people who really need us. We’re excited about the changes and we hope you are too.