Tribute paid to VAO “father figure”

The late Giulio Venturi

Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) has paid tribute to friend and colleague, Giulio Venturi, who recently passed away.

Guilio was the charity’s vision centre supply manager, and had worked for most of his life in the optical sector.

VAO stated: “Giulio was a much-loved member of the Vision Aid Overseas team, since joining as vision centre supply manager in July 2011.

“When asking friends and colleagues to describe Giulio, the words that come up repeatedly are that he was kind, genuine and a true gentleman. He was very much the father figure at the VAO office.

“If ever someone looked like they were having a bad day, he would always check in to see if they were ok and offer some supportive words. He went about his work with no complaint, and he never wanted any fuss made of him.

“If ever there was a VAO fundraiser or team activity, he would always happily take part. Whether that was bringing in tasty food for one of our staff lunches, donning his jogging gear for the Gatwick 5k run, or getting on his bike (which in fairness wasn’t a chore for him) as part of our Go for Glasses events.

“Giulio travelled to a number of countries in Africa to support VAO in a technical capacity, most recently supporting a vision centre development workshop in Ghana in January 2019.

“He was a wealth of knowledge in the world of optical equipment and played a critical role in managing the supplies and equipment used in our programmes, as well as managing statistics coming in from vision centres across the countries in which we work.

“Giulio was a wonderful colleague and a friend to so many, and he will be sorely missed by his family, his wife Bridget, the staff of VAO, volunteers and partners in the UK and across Africa. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.

“If any of our friends, members or partners that knew him would like to share any memories or messages of support for his family, please email them to”