Spec-Tacular Effort by Wiltshire Residents

Wiltshire residents are being thanked by local opticians Haine & Smith as they donate more than 1,600 pairs of glasses to help the county’s homeless.

 In September last year the opticians partnered up with regional charity Alabaré to pilot a ‘pop-up’ eye testing centre at Unity House in Chippenham. They carried out sight tests on the residents staying there and then if needed, provided them with free glasses which were donated by Wolf Eyewear.

 Following the success of the pilot, the team visited the Trowbridge Alabaré home where it officially launched the ‘Sight for All’ campaign. The plan is to hold up more ‘pop-up’ centres across the county.

 To make sure they have enough frames for the residents to choose from, the opticians put a call out to the county’s residents to donate their old spectacles so they can be refurbished and re-used. This has led to more than 1,600 pairs being handed into the practices across the county.

  Anna Lewin, clinical lead optometrist at Haine & Smith, said: “When we launched our campaign we didn’t imagine we would get such a good response. To receive this many pairs of unwanted spectacles already is amazing. We’re busy planning our next ‘pop-up’ centre so please keep bringing your donations to us.”

 Any of the glasses which cannot be refurbished will be handed over to the Wiltshire Lions Club which will use them for their own scheme which helps eye clinics in countries like Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Ghana. This means none of the glasses go to landfill but are re-used to help people either home or abroad.

Anyone wishing to donate their glasses can take them into any Haine & Smith practice. A list of locations can be found on its website www.haineandsmith.co.uk