Specsavers Bandon is proud to inform customers that store director Marie Burke will travel as part of a team of six Specsavers volunteers to Livingstone, Zambia on Friday, 04 November with Vision Aid Overseas. Specsavers Ireland has worked closely with Vision Aid Overseas for the last decade, helping the fight against poverty in developing countries by transforming access to eye care.

Optometry services

Marie will be spending two weeks in Zambia as part of an overall eight week programme. While in Zambia, Marie and the team will teach 15 nurses in a local hospital how to conduct eye tests, prescribe glasses and detect common eye diseases. With this training, these local nurses will be able to provide optometry services to the community, who would not have access to this level of healthcare otherwise.

Limited provision

With the help of Specsavers, Vision Aid Overseas will provide eye care to people living in Zambia. Up until recently, there had been a 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. Store director at Specsavers Bandon, Marie, commented, ‘In Ireland, we have access to excellent eye care but most people in Zambia are not as lucky, making it vital that we do all we can to improve their eye health services.’

50,000 frames donated by Irish stores

Over the past five years alone, Specsavers Bandon has collected over 3,500 pairs of old glasses. With over 50,000 frames donated by Irish stores per year, Bandon’s contribution is significant. The glasses are recycled and the money raised is used to fund the charity’s work in developing countries.

In-store collection

The team at Specsavers Bandon is urging locals to donate their old, unwanted glasses, to help improve the eye health of those less fortunate. Customers can get involved in the appeal by dropping their old frames in store.

Colouring competition

In an effort to support Marie’s upcoming travels, Specsavers Bandon is running a colouring competition in store for all children under 12. Simply pop in store to collect the picture for a chance to win a scrumptious chocolate hamper. The store is also holding a raffle on Saturday, 29 October, with all proceeds going directly to Vision Aid Overseas. There will be two pairs of designer glasses to be won along with a host of other exciting prizes. Pop in store to buy a ticket, available from just €1.

Marie continues, ‘We are encouraging locals to pop in store, buy a raffle ticket, enter our colouring competition or donate what you can on www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MarieandDee. With the local community’s continued support, we hope to make a real difference in Zambia. By locals donating their old, unwanted glasses, we can really improve the eye health of those less fortunate. There must be thousands of spare specs lying around in drawers across Cork that are no longer of use to their owners. All donations are welcome!’

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