A kind-hearted Specsavers laboratory manager recently embarked on an eye-opening trip to West Africa to set up a vision centre in Burkina Faso.

Derek Reid from Specsavers Byres Road travelled to Ouagadougou with charity Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) to install a visionary clinic in an African hospital while teaching four students new eyecare techniques.

During the two week mission, Derek and his VAO team – which included two opticians and a translator – travelled to a small hospital ward in the predominantly French-speaking country, to install the clinic which would make prescription glasses affordable to everyday people.

The team also set up a permanent eye clinic to ensure local people have access to care and treatment in the future by the newly trained African students.

The successful trip – which was funded by Specsavers Byres Road store – saw the clinic up and running and helping patients after only one week.

Derek Reid, laboratory manager for Specsavers Byres Road, said: ‘I have had such a rewarding experience volunteering for VAO. ‘Lots of people don’t have access to eyecare and for a lot of people something as simple as giving them glasses can give them a whole new lease of life. I would definitely like to return.’

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