Specsavers in Morningside has collected its largest ever pile of unwanted glasses which will now be donated to impoverished people in developing countries.

More than 5,000 pairs of specs have been collected, thanks to donations from the community.

The huge haul will be handed over to eyecare charity Vision Aid Overseas (VAO), which recycles the glasses and uses the funds generated, to provide eyecare to those who need it in developing countries.

Among those involved in creating the mountain of unwanted specs were store customers, local scouts, pupils from nearby Firrhill High School and the Rotary Club of Morningside.

Overwhelming support

Michael O’Kane, store director of Specsavers Morningside, said: ‘I am overwhelmed by the huge support from the local community who have contributed to our VAO appeal over the years.

‘In particular I’d like to thank the children and young adults from all of our generous local schools and groups for going out of their way to organise collections and donations, helping us to collect our largest pile of VAO specs to date.

‘Specsavers has been a supporter of VAO for over a decade. It’s a fantastic charity giving the gift of sight to people with vision problems across the developing world. ‘Many people overseas do not have access to the most basic of eyecare so receiving a pair of prescription glasses can make a massive difference in their lives.

‘By simply bringing your old specs to us you can help improve the life of somebody in the developing world, so I would encourage everyone in Morningside to bring in their old specs to see if we can make our next pile even bigger.’

Locals can get involved in the ongoing appeal by dropping their old frames into the store, where they will find VAO collection boxes.

Vital charity work

The glasses are recycled and the money raised is used to fund the charity’s work. This includes giving people much needed eye tests and treatment and training up local optometrists.

With the help of Specsavers, the international charity is committed to providing eyecare for people living in Zambia. Previously, there had been very limited provision for the one in four Zambians who desperately require it, with just a handful of qualified optometrists serving the 12 million population.

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