Specsavers in Bicester is reminding local people they can donate unwanted specs to help raise money for international charity Vision Aid Overseas (VAO). 

The opticians are asking customers to drop off any unwanted specs into the bins provided in store. The frames are then collected and recycled with the money generated going to help improve access to eyecare for impoverished people in the developing world.

Sarah Marshall, store director, said: ‘Most people who wear specs will have pairs they no longer wear due to a change in prescription. If you do, please drop them off into the store so that they can be put to good use.

‘We take eyecare for granted in this country, but for those who don’t have it readily available, the money really can make a difference.’

Thanks to previous fundraising efforts by Specsavers stores throughout the UK and Ireland, Vision Aid Overseas is in the process of developing a dedicated eyecare clinic and teaching facility in the Zambian capital, Lusaka. The new clinic will train students to test eyes and deliver eyecare to treat the local population, many of whom suffer from life-limiting but treatable sight conditions. Specsavers stores have collectively raised more than £300,000 towards this project so far and hope to supersede that amount this year to fund ongoing running costs of the facilities.

Since its inception, Vision Aid Overseas has helped more than one million people in poverty-stricken countries through the provision of affordable eye care services.

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