Customers at Specsavers in Monmouth have helped to collect more than 2,000 used glasses for visually impaired people in some of the world’s poorest places.

Customers who visited the Monnow Street store for eye tests were encouraged to donate their old or used frames to the store’s charity drive for Vision Aid Overseas (VAO).

Affordable eye care services

The frames are recycled by VAO to establish vision centres in Africa, which provide affordable local eye care services and glasses where the need is greatest, as well as train local eye care workers and deliver eye care services to the most remote and isolated African communities.

Emily Anne-Frost, store director at Specsavers in Monmouth, says: ‘We collected 2,016 frames in 2016 and made it our mission to match that figure during 2017.

'Our customers are never afraid to show their generosity so we knew we had to set the bar high. Even so, it still impresses us that people are willing to lend such a helping hand – we really appreciate it.’

Specsavers has collected more than a quarter of a million glasses for VAO in the last 15 years, which has helped raise more than £800,000 for its work.

VAO’s vital work

‘If it wasn’t for VAO, people living in areas of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Zambia would really struggle to get the standard of care for eye health that we have in the UK,’ she adds.

‘More than a billion people worldwide are unable to see properly, solely because they need glasses.

'Of those with sight impairments, 89 per cent live in developing countries like Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Zambia. This goes to show how vital VAO’s work in these areas is.

‘I hope our donation can play some part in maintaining and developing these services in communities that need them the most.’

All Monmouth store information