AN opticians has a charity record in its sights after people helped the branch collect unwanted pairs of glasses for those in the developing world.
The Specsavers store, in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool, has received more than 6,000 pairs of glasses in the last year – and donations are still rolling in.
This is in comparison to an average of 1,500 pairs collected at other branches across the country.
The unwanted spectacles are recycled by Vision Aid Overseas, a charity which provides eye-care for people in poverty-stricken countries.
The money made from recycling the glasses is then used to fund the charity’s work.
Since its inception in 1987, the UK-based charity has helped more than one million people in the developing world.
Store director Ian Walker said: “We would really like to thank the public for being so generous with their donations.
“Vision Aid Overseas is a fantastic organisation and we would love to continue to support the charity with the help of the community.
“We would like to encourage anyone with old glasses to drop them off at our in-store collection point.”
Vision Aid Overseas works in Africa to transform access to eye-care services and is part of the Vision 2020 initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020.
Since 2003 Specsavers has collected and recycled more than a quarter of a million glasses for the charity, and have raised more than £550,000.
l Time is running out to enter this year’s Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year awards.
Up for grabs is a St Lucia holiday and the chance to attend a celebrity awards bash in London, featuring fashionista Gok Wan and ex-Spice Girl Mel C.
There are four age categories – 16-24; 25-39; 40-59 and 60+ and a Facebook favourite voted for by the public. Entries can be made at www.specsavers.co.uk/loveglasses, via Facebook, www.facebook.com/specsavers or by picking up an entry form instore.