Help Gala Specsavers raise cash for good cause

A local optician is urging people to donate their old, unwanted glasses to its special appeal, which aims to improve the eye health of those less fortunate in the developing world.

Specsavers in Galashiels is again collecting unused frames at the store on Douglas Bridge and customers can get involved by dropping their old frames into the in-store collection bin, which will then be donated to Vision Aid Overseas.

The glasses are recycled and the money raised is used to fund the charity’s work in developing countries, which 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.

Stuart Forrester, store director at Specsavers Galashiels, said: “In Britain we are used to having access to excellent eyecare on our high streets, but most people in Zambia are not as lucky, so it’s important we do what we can to improve eye health there.

“There must be thousands of spare specs lying around in drawers around the country that are no longer of use to their owners. All donations are welcome.”

Specsavers – along with more than 1,700 partners in the UK and Republic of Ireland, of whom 548 have been with the Partnership for at least 10 years – has worked closely with Vision Aid Overseas for the last decade and is continuing to do so. During this time, the optician has raised more than £800,000 and has collected in excess of 250,000 pairs of glasses.

The money has been put to good use by funding the construction of a school for optometry in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, and nine vision centres across the country.

For more information about Vision Aid Overseas, visit www.vao.org.uk.