The team at Specsavers in Stafford has collected more than 1,000 pairs of unwanted glasses for Vision Aid Overseas (VAO), as one member of staff prepares to take on a 10km run in one of the world’s highest cities in an effort to raise money for charity.

Mike Phillips, hearing aid audiologist at the store, will put his best feet forward on Sunday (22 November) as he takes to the streets of Addis Ababa to complete the Great Ethiopian Run. Thanks to the help of his colleagues Mike has exceeded his £2,500 target, with more still to be collected, all of which will go to VAO.

Customers have been donating the old, unwanted specs which will be recycled by the charity before being sold on to raise money to support its ongoing work.

‘I’m really looking forward to taking part in this race and have completed quite a few 10km runs as part of my training,’ said Mike. ‘Addis Ababa is about 2,300 metres above sea level, so running there will be quite a challenge, but it’s going to be a great experience and it’s all for a very worthy cause.

‘The support I have received so far has been overwhelming and I’d just like to say thank you to everybody who has made a donation or dropped off their old specs in store.’

The Great Ethiopian Run is held in one of the highest cities in the world at 2,300 metres above sea level. Now in its 15th year, the race hopes to attract more than 40,000 runners to the streets of Addis Ababa to raise funds for a wide range of good causes.

Vision Aid Overseas is an international charity dedicated to fighting poverty in developing countries by transforming access to eye care. It is estimated that 670 million people – 10% of the world’s population – are disadvantaged by poor vision and a lack of glasses. For more information on the charity’s work, visit

All Stafford store information