For three days over the Christmas period, a member of staff from Specsavers in Bedminster helped run free sight test clinics at a homeless shelter in the local area.

Community focus

Caring at Christmas is a charity initiative providing food, accommodation and social activities to homeless, vulnerable and lonely people in the Bristol area.

The Julian Trust Night Centre is usually only open in the evenings however, thanks to volunteers behind the Caring at Christmas appeal, they were able to open for 24 hours a day over the festive period.

The Specsavers team took frames from the store with them, as well as equipment normally used by the team as part of the domiciliary service they offer. This involves testing vulnerable patients in their homes and care homes because they cannot get to a store. Their experience helping very vulnerable people meant they were keen to help.

The team visited the centre, where they carried out 55 eye tests, ordered and funded 28 pairs of specs and gave out 15 pairs of reading glasses.

Rewarding experience

‘Those visiting the centre were extremely thankful as most had never had an eye test before,’ said optometrist, Amelia Lumb. ‘Some people came in with red eyes and irritated eyes which we were able to provide advice on.  We were also able to gift 43 pairs of glasses which is pretty amazing! It was really rewarding to see them walk away feeling happy that we could help.’

Amelia continued: ‘It’s really important to recognise that there are so many people in our community who struggle. As a local business, it’s our responsibility to help as much as we can.’

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