News

Buxton store sees impact of Zambia glasses donation

28 September, 2015
Joyce Chilo, who received a pair of glasses
Joyce Chilo received a pair of glasses from Specsavers opticians in Buxton

An opticians in Buxton has donated 500 pairs of glasses to people in Zambia with limited access to eyecare.

Working with The U Foundation, Specsavers Buxton donated hundreds of pairs of ready reader glasses to help people in Zambia who need reading glasses but have no access to them.

The U Foundation

The U Foundation raises funds and collects supplies for projects in developing countries, helping locals to achieve a better life. 

It regularly ships school desks, chairs, books, clothing, shoes, sports equipment and medical equipment to Zambia, where 100 per cent of donations from the charity go directly to helping those in need.  

The donation from Specsavers was arranged by Charlie Gwillim , a long-term supporter of The U Foundation who lives locally and approached the store for support.

Joyce Chilo

Joyce Chilo, a peasant farmer in Rural Monze in Zambia, used to enjoy reading in church. Five years ago she realised she could no longer read easily. She sought medical help at the nearby government hospital where she was asked to buy a pair of reading glasses. As Joyce didn’t have the money, she resigned to the fact that  she would, never read again as her eyesight deteriorated and sentences on the page turned to blurred lines. Joyce received one of the pairs of glasses donated by Specsavers Buxton, and can now finally read again.

Dr Choongo Mwinga, who works with the charity, visited the store in Spring Gardens Shopping Centre when he came to the UK for training recently. He thanked the team for their generosity, collected the ready readers and has now distributed them to those who will benefit most in Zambia. 

Specsavers Buxton store director, Tom Rhodes, said: ‘We couldn’t turn down the opportunity to send 500 pairs of ready readers to Zambia. 

‘The U Foundation delivered them directly to people who would otherwise have no access to glasses, and would have continued to struggle unnecessarily with poor eyesight. As opticians this really strikes a chord with us and we are delighted to be working with such a brilliant charity.

'It's amazing'

‘Seeing the photographs of the glasses being distributed is amazing. We can see exactly where the donation went and what it means to those people we were able to help.’

Charlie Gwillim, who arranged the donation for The U Foundation, said: ‘These glasses mean the world to the people who received them. I’ve seen first-hand the gratitude of people whose lives have been changed by donations like this.

'We take our vision for granted'

‘In a country where opticians’ services are readily available, such as the UK, it is easy to take our vision for granted. In the developing world, the provision of optical services has a real impact on people’s lives. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Specsavers Buxton for its support and generosity.’

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