Chorley's Specsavers team is helping some of the world’s poorest communities to see clearly thanks to the ‘overwhelming’ charitable response and generosity of local customers.
The store staff have been urging residents to donate their old and unwanted specs to the Chapel Street store, which it then donates to Vision Aid Overseas (VAO).
The charity recycles the glasses and uses the money made from selling the reusable materials to fund its charity work in developing countries. This includes giving people badly-needed eye tests and treatment, and training up local optometrists.
The store has described the response from local people as ‘stunning’ with thousands of glasses dropped into the special collection bin.
Since 2008 Specsavers has channelled more than £300,000 into VAO’s work in Zambia. It has a target to open a vision centre in each of the country’s nine provinces by the end of 2014, with seven open to date.
Stunning response from the community
Donna Sumner, optical consultant comments: ‘The situation in these areas of Africa is alien to us in Britain where we can easily access professional eyecare on the high street. For this reason it is important we do what we can to improve eye health elsewhere.
‘We knew that there must be thousands of spare specs lying around in drawers across the area that are no longer of use to their owners, and we’ve been thrilled with the response from the Chorley public.
‘When the collection bin is full, we put hundreds of glasses into a box for recycling and I’ve lost count of how many boxes we’ve sent out.
Recycle your old glasses
‘By simply bringing your old specs to us you can help improve the life of somebody in the developing world, so on behalf of the store I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has donated so far.’