A local optician is urging people in Beverley to dig out their old, unwanted glasses so they can be used to improve the eye health of those less fortunate in Africa.
The appeal comes on the back of a successful three month collection campaign between October and December 2013 where the store collected 1290 pairs of spectacles.
The glasses are recycled and the money raised is used to fund the charity’s work in developing countries. This includes giving people badly-needed eye tests and treatment, and training up local optometrists.
With the help of Specsavers, the international charity is committed to providing eyecare for people living in Zambia. Previously, there had been very limited provision for the one in four Zambians who desperately require it, with just a handful of qualified optometrists serving the 12million population.
Anthony Baker, store director at Beverley Specsavers, comments: ‘The situation in Zambia is alien to us in Britain where Specsavers offers professional eye care to all on the high street. For this reason it is important we do what we can to improve eye health elsewhere.
‘There must be thousands of spare specs lying around in drawers around the country that are no longer of use to their owners. All donations are welcome.’
Specsavers has worked closely with Vision Aid Overseas for the last decade and is continuing to do so. In this time, the opticians have raised more than £370,000 and has collected in excess of 250,000 pairs of glasses.
The money has been put to good use by funding the construction of a school for optometry in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, and two vision centres in the country’s Central and Luapula provinces. The charity aims to add six more vision centres by 2015 so that there is one in each province of Zambia.
For more information about Vision Aid Overseas, visit www.vao.org.uk.
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