The team of opticians from Specsavers' Sutton in Ashfield store has improved eyecare in the Ashanti region of Ghana by updating facilities, treating 1,300 patients and donating 2,500 pairs of specs, on a charity mission abroad.

Volunteers from Specsavers in the Idlewells Shopping Centre including store director Nigel Davidson, assistant store manager Sam Best and optometrist Stuart Green were part of a seven-strong team that recently visited Gyetiaise in rural Ghana with the charity Ashanti Development.

Providing eye clinics to thousands

Based at a Specsavers-sponsored eye clinic run by Ashanti Development, the team ran eyecare clinics starting at 8am and would often find up to 200 people already waiting for a sight test. During the trip, they dispensed 2,500 pairs of specs and referred around 50 people for cataract surgery.

‘We received lots of help in preparation for the trip; Specsavers colleagues collected thousands of second-hand specs to take with us, they also donated money from sight test fees, fundraising days and events. Their efforts and donations from other local businesses helped to raise enough funds to buy vital equipment for the clinic, including a tonometer which measures pressure inside the eye' say Nigel Davidson.

A huge difference

‘The optometrists diagnosed a wide range of conditions such as glaucoma, trachoma and cataracts. We helped so many people whose vision was only good enough to see hand movements from no more than a metre away, so giving them a pair of specs made a huge difference to their vision and life. It was such a rewarding experience for everyone involved.’

Ashanti Development is a 100 per cent volunteers’ charity, set up at the request of Ghanaians living in London who asked their friends and neighbours for help to improve the lives of the people they left behind in their home villages. The charity aims to provide remote villages in the Ashanti Region with water and sanitation, healthcare, education and income generating activities. For more information, please visit www.ashanti-development.org

Watch video about Specsavers upcoming 2014 trip to Ghana.

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