Specsavers Clare joins in with major global health crisis

Lions Club of Clare member Ian Denton with Specsavers Clare, co-owner Paul Carpenter and the recycled glasses.

Lions Club of Clare member Ian Denton with Specsavers Clare, co-owner Paul Carpenter and the recycled glasses.

Specsavers Clare is on a mission to take on a major global health crisis and is calling on locals for help.

The store is collecting quality glasses and sunglasses in partnership with Lions Recycle for Sight for delivery to people in need overseas.

Specsavers Clare, co-owner Paul Carpenter said when he found out just how many people are going blind in impoverished communities around the world simply because they don’t have access to glasses, he knew the store had to help.

“Blindness and vision impairments are so much worse in third world countries because they can mean the difference between people being able to have a job and feed their family, or not,” Mr Carpenter said.

Global studies have shown there are 101.2 million people visually impaired as a result of not having access to glasses to correct simple vision problems.

Over time as the vision issues remain uncorrected and vision deteriorates, this has led to 6.8 million people currently living with blindness.

According to the World Health Organisation, visual impairment from uncorrected refractive errors can have immediate and long-term consequences on both children and adults. These include lost educational and employment opportunities which leads to lost economic gain for individuals, families and societies.

“We are confident the community here will get behind our glasses recycling program. We’ve set ourselves a target of collecting 100 pairs of glasses each month going forward, but the more we can collect, the better because every pair of glasses will make a significant difference,” Mr Carpenter said.

Once glasses are collected, they will be sent to Lions Recycle for Sight in Queensland, which runs a glasses recycling facility that quality checks, cleans and categorises the glasses.

If the glasses pass the quality tests, they are then distributed to people in need overseas through partnering charities and humanitarian organisations.

“We see people come into our store every day who purchase new glasses and no longer have a use for their old ones - normally they are still in perfect condition but the prescription is outdated. Our recycling program allows them to donate their pre-loved specs to change someone else’s life.”

Chairman of Lions Recycle for Sight, Ken Leonard OAM said Lions Recycle for Sight is a part of the Lions Clubs International Worldwide Eyeglass Recycling Program.

“Over the past 26 years, we’ve delivered more than seven million pairs of refurbished quality glasses to people in need all around the world,” Mr Leonard said.

Clare locals can clear out for clear vision and bring their pre-loved glasses and sunglasses into Specsavers Clare, placing them in the glasses recycling collection bin or handing them to a team member.

For more information about the glasses recycling program or Lions Recycle for Sight, visit www.specsavers.com/community-program