Athlone optician appeals to help eyecare in the developing world

An Athlone opticians is launching an urgent appeal for old and unwanted pairs of glasses in the run-up to Christmas.

Specsavers in Athlone is supporting a spectacle recycling scheme run by Vision Aid Overseas - a charity dedicated to helping needy people in the developing world whose lives are blighted by poor eyesight. The most efficient way to help is to give people in poverty-stricken areas access to glasses.

The team at Specsavers in Athlone, located at Golden Island Shopping Centre, are inviting locals to bring their unwanted specs to the store. The old frames are passed on to the charity to be tailored and re-used. Hundreds of thousands of glasses have already been donated by Specsavers’ customers across Ireland. Teams of voluntary optometrists then visit developing countries to dispense them where they are needed the most.

Keith McCallion, store director at Specsavers in Athlone, says, “Most of us forget about our old specs, which have perhaps gone out of fashion or are no longer the correct prescription. However, they can make a huge difference to many less fortunate people’s lives.

“It is an astonishing fact that there are some 200 million people worldwide who need glasses but are unable to get them due to poverty, remote locations, and a severe lack of optical facilities. Any spectacle donations we receive will be much appreciated and will help experts continue to examine and treat the eyes of needy people in the developing world and to train people in those countries in eyecare skills.”

Vision Aid Overseas director, Natalie Briggs, says, “I am thrilled by the support we are receiving from Specsavers in Athlone. We would like to encourage everyone to continue to help us by donating their old, unwanted specs and handing them in to staff at the store.”

If you would like to donate your old specs to the Vision Aid Overseas appeal, please drop them into Specsavers, Golden Island Shopping Centre, Athlone.

If you would like more information about Vision Aid Overseas log on to www.vao.org.uk

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