One of Airdrie’s optometrists is going on a trip of a lifetime to help improve the eye care of those in rural Africa.

Laura Telford, from Moffatmills, will travel to Zambia in March with Vision Aid Overseas, a charity which helps deliver eye care to those in the developing world. 

The 25-year-old is an optometrist at Specsavers in Airdrie and has always wanted to help make a difference to those less fortunate. Through the company's partnership with the charity, Laura was selected to be part of the team heading out to the region on a two week trip.

Making a difference
She says: 'Since school I have wanted to do something to help make a difference to communities in the developing world. By working with Specsavers, I have been given this amazing opportunity and I am so excited to be going to Zambia.'

Laura will fly out to Africa on Friday, 13 March, and will spend a week in a school carrying out eye tests before travelling around the rural countryside providing eye clinics to local communities. 

She says: 'Zambia is a very poverty stricken country and people don't have access to the eye care we do. Issues with their sight can be very detrimental to their lifestyle as people will stop going to school or working if they have poor eyesight. This will then have a massive impact on their family life.

'By testing their eyes and providing them with glasses this will greatly improve their day to day life which is why these travelling clinics are so important.

'It's going to be a huge personal challenge, as the living conditions will be very different to the comforts I am used to, but it will be a once in a lifetime experience.'

Store support raising money
Staff from the store organised a bake sale raising X for Laura's trip and 6th Airdrie Girls Brigade, where Laura is a leader, will also donate part of the proceeds raised during an upcoming tribute evening. 

Alison Grieve, store director at Specsavers Airdrie, says: 'Laura has worked with us since we opened six years ago. She worked part time during university, she did her training in the store and became our full time optometrist in 2012.

‘At Specsavers it's important that we invest and support our staff, Laura is a valued member of our team and her caring and compassionate nature makes her popular with staff and customers alike. This will be an amazing trip and we look forward to hearing all about it when she returns.'

To donate to Laura's Zambia trip please visit

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