A Louth opticians is urging people in Louth to dig out their old, unwanted glasses so they can be used to improve the eye health of those less fortunate in Africa.
Louth Specsavers collects spare and unused frames at the store in Mercer Row and donates them to Vision Aid Overseas.
The glasses are recycled and the money raised is used to fund the charity’s work in developing countries. This includes giving people badly-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 12million population.
Local people can do their bit to further the partnership’s goal simply by calling into Louth Specsavers and dropping their old glasses in a special collection bin.
Last year, the store collected more than 1,500 old frames from local customers.
Store director Jenni Brown said: “The situation in Zambia is alien to us in Britain where Specsavers offers professional eye care to all on the high street.
“For this reason it is important we do what we can to improve eye health elsewhere.
“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 has worked closely with Vision Aid Overseas for the last decade and is continuing to do so. In this time, the opticians has raised more than £370,000 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 two vision centres in the country’s Central and Luapula provinces. The charity aims to add six more vision centres by 2015 so that there is one in each province of Zambia.
For more information about Vision Aid Overseas, visit www.vao.org.uk.