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Premier League: West Ham co owner David Gold to head up new charity

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West Ham United Football Club joint-chairman David Gold has been recruited as the first ever business ambassador for a Surrey visual impairment charity.

The Surrey Association for Visual Impairment (SAVI), based in Fetcham, has recruited the veteran businessman in a bid to gain better access to the business community.

Through his new role, Mr Gold will champion visually impaired people in the workplace as well as mentoring schemes to support them.

SAVI chief executive Bob Hughes said he hopes to utilise Mr Gold to help persuade businesses to employ visually impaired people.

He said: “One of our big new initiatives is to try and open up the opportunity for visually impaired people to work."

“One of the problems is the employers just do not know what people who are visually impaired are capable of. I went to see David Gold because he is one of the largest employers in Surrey. I explained the issue to him and he said he would be delighted to help."

“He will be our business ambassador, and will explain to other business people about how to incorporate some work experience places. Business people understand business people."

“As we move forward, what we hope David will do is explain and recognise the importance of visually impaired people in the workplace. He is prepared to put some effort in to help us."

“If you give them work and opportunities, visually impaired people can make real impact on your business. Given the chance, they can be really good employees.”

Mr Gold will also work alongside SAVI’s newly-created employment group, set up to assist and recognise members who require workplace support or help with finding a job.

Mr Gold has been chairman of West Ham alongside long-term business partner David Sullivan for several years. His company, Gold Group International, has an annual turnover of £150 million.

Mr Gold said: “I am very pleased to be able to help empower blind and visually impaired people to use their skills and talents in the workplace, and to stand alongside them in their battle to make employers understand their value."

"We are in a good position to understand that as we had to work hard to become accepted and valued in the High Street. So we are well equipped to help visually impaired and blind people with their individual struggles to be accepted.”

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