Specs appeal for overseas eye health

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A LOCAL optician is urging people in Stranraer to donate their old, unwanted glasses to its New Year appeal, which aims to improve the eye health of those less fortunate in the developing world.

Stranraer Specsavers collected around 500 pairs of glasses for Vision Aid Overseas in 2014 and is once again collecting unused frames at the store in George Street.

Customers can get involved in the appeal by dropping their old frames into the in-store collection bin, which will then be donated to Vision Aid Overseas.

The glasses are recycled and the money raised is used to fund the charity’s work in developing countries. This includes giving people much-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.

Elaine Hawthorn, director at Stranraer Specsavers, sais: “In Britain we are used to having access to excellent eyecare on our high streets but most people in Zambia are not as lucky so it’s important we do what we can to improve eye health there.

“There must be thousands of spare specs lying around in drawers across 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 has raised more than £800,000 and has collected in excess of 250,000 pairs of glasses.