Local opticians, Edmonds and Slatter, won a bronze fundraising award from eye care charity Optometry Giving Sight. Throughout the month of October, the opticians took part in the charity’s World Sight Day Challenge. Now in its 9th year, the World Sight Day Challenge is the largest annual global fundraising campaign to address avoidable blindness caused by uncorrected refractive error – simply the need for an eye exam and glasses.
The campaign saw the opticians asking for voluntary donations from patients after they gave complimentary spectacle repairs and adjustments, part of the aftercare service at Edmonds and Slatter. They also sold wristbands for a suggested donation of £3, which is equivalent to the cost of an eye exam for someone living in an underserved community. “Most people are surprised to learn that as little as £3 can transform somebody’s life” Optometrist Saagar Hirani commented, “Around 80 percent of all global visual impairment is preventable with access to good eye care, so we can make a huge impact on people’s lives.”
Saagar and his team were inspired by the story of Annie and Sonia, two of the 1500 children who have benefitted from a recent screening program in Cap Haitian, Haiti. Poor vision made it very difficult for both of them to see the teacher’s writing on the blackboard. They were identified as having astigmatism and were referred by the Vision Plus Clinic for a full examination and to obtain glasses. “Thank you for helping my daughters to see the world” said their mother after her daughters put on their first pair of glasses.
The money raised contributed towards Optometry Giving Sight’s target of £1 million. The staff at Edmonds and Slatter would like to thank all of their patients for their support.