An optician from Specsavers in Street is taking a group of optometry students to Moldova to provide much-needed eyecare on behalf of Returning Vision Moldova.
Louise Richards, optometrist at Specsavers in Street and Ryan Burke, optometrist at Specsavers in Newcastle under Lyme, will supervise an 11-strong team of optometry students from Cardiff University as they head out to Moldova on Sunday 23 July. They trip has been organised and will be led by Helen Peregrine, an optometrist from Eastbourne Hospital.
Remote towns and villages
The group will take everything they need with them including single vision specs and equipment to carry out sight tests. During the seven-day trip, they will visit remote towns and villages and dispense specs where required. For more complicated prescriptions, specs will be glazed back in the UK and then sent back out to Moldova.
‘I originally went on this trip as a student in 2014 so it’s great to be heading back out there but this time as a supervising optician,’ said Louise. ‘These regions would otherwise have no access to eyecare and for many, specs are simply unaffordable. In many cases providing a simple pair of reading glasses can enable a person to return to work and provide for their families.
Self funded trip
‘We are all self-funding the trip and each need £650 to be able to cover flights, accommodation and transport. There is a collection box currently in store if local people would like to make a donation and we also held a fundraising day which included a sponsored static bike ride.
'The team cycled the 170 miles from Street to Brighton, each taking it in turn to have a go, and we managed to raise £60 thanks to donations on the day from customers.’