The team from Edmonton Green opticians has joined forces with a local church to champion a glasses recycling scheme to help improve access to eyecare services in developing countries.

Anar Desai, store director of Specsavers in Edmonton and the Knights of St Columba from the Church of Most Precious Blood and St Edmund have been encouraging local residents to donate their used and unwanted glasses to global sight charity, Vision Aid Overseas (VAO).

Glasses recycling scheme

Parishioners have so far donated 850 pairs of glasses. In just two months the Knights of Columba collected 500 pairs of unwanted spectacles from their parishioners while the store received 350 pairs.

Residents simply need to drop them into collection boxes in store and in the church and the charity uses the proceeds from selling the reusable materials towards establishing vision centres, training healthcare workers and utilising the expertise of volunteers to give people desperately-needed eye examinations and treatment.

Anar said: ‘Eyecare is something that we take for granted in the UK because there is an optician on almost every high street, but for people in developing countries this is not the case.

The VAO recycling scheme is a fantastic initiative and we encourage all of our customers purchasing new glasses to donate their old pair. It’s so easy to do and rather than gathering dust at the back of a cupboard, they can benefit people in countries where quality eyecare is not as readily available.’

Making a difference to people

Knights Action Convener, Joe Wheatcroft, remarked: ‘It is a simple thing that we are doing but it can make such a difference to people in the developing world who have poor eye sight.’

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