Optometrists help save sight of 1,000
By Maurice Garvey
OPTOMETRISTS from Clondalkin, Liffey Valley and Crumlin returned from a successful volunteer initiative in India, where they delivered sight to over 1,000 people.
The Specsavers employees were volunteering for the Hope Foundation in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).
Having raised over €11,000 ahead of the trip through Specsavers stores countrywide, the group spent seven days in the Indian city.
Funds raised purchased glasses for the team to bring to Kolkata and a portable auto-refractor machine, worth €6,500, gifted to the Hope Foundation.
The group included Clondalkin stores director Lisa Walsh, Liffey Valley opticians Orla Murphy, Jasmine Jose and dispensing optician Edwina McKinney, a store director in Crumlin.
They carried out over 1,000 eye tests on people in the region – dispensing over 300 pairs of glasses and 600 pairs of the pre-made bifocals to those tested.
Urgent referrals were made for eye disease and trauma-related issues, as well as 100 referrals for cataracts, to The Hope Hospital.
For many patients, this was their first experience having their eyes tested.
Clondalkin stores director Lisa Walsh said it was an “amazing and humbling experience” to work alongside the foundation.
“At Specsavers, we can give people the gift of sight, something often taken for granted. However, many people in Kolkata do not have access to proper eye care services. It is vital we do all that we can to improve the eye health of those less fortunate than ourselves.”
Crumlin stores director Edwina McKinney said despite the “unimaginable poverty”, they were met with “only smiles and gratitude.”
“We would like to say a massive thank you to everybody who donated and helped in our fundraising efforts at our Liffey Valley, Crumlin and Clondalkin stores,” she said.