In preparation for the process of obtaining official charitable status, Light Relief, the industry fund that supports UK lighting designers, has chosen a board of trustees that includes some of the profession's best-known names. Additionally, Richard Pilbrow, maven of theatre lighting design and author of the seminal work on the art, has agreed to be honorary chairman. Rick Fisher, chairman and joint founder with Tony Gottelier of Light Relief, explains: “We wanted Richard to have a role, but as a non-UK resident that would have proved difficult in view of the regulations governing charities. Consequently we're delighted that he has agreed to accept this position.”

Although born in England and having worked there for many years, Pilbrow moved to the US. As he says: “I told Tony that I was honored to be asked. Light Relief is a great idea of which they should be proud.”

The board of trustees itself includes David Hersey, Andrew Bridge, Rick Fisher, and Patrick Woodroffe, together with Matthew Griffiths, managing director of PLASA, John Simpson, chairman and CEO of lighting rental specialist White Light, Lesley Harmer, a leading public relations consultant, and Tony Gottelier, who first conceived the idea of Light Relief and promoted it through his monthly “No Comment” column in Lighting + Sound International magazine.

“We spent the summer putting this fantastic group of people together and it is a sign of the respect in which Light Relief is held that we have succeeded so well,” says Gottelier. “I look forward very much to working with them to achieve our aim of supporting freelancers when the personal going gets rough and raising the money to make that possible.”

The first beneficiary of the Light Relief program was announced at the recent PLASA show in London, with CAST Lighting's WYSIWYG software presented by ETC's Mark White to lighting industry member Julian White who has been prevented from working for the past few years due to cancer. The software will allow him to work at home on his new service of creating light plots with AutoCAD files.