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Special Eyes in Stretford Mall appeals for unwanted specs for Vision Aid Overseas
12:00pm Wednesday 1st August 2012 in Stretford
Jayne Simcock, manager, and Patrick Myers, director, appeal for specs at Stretford Mall opticians Special Eyes
A STRETFORD opticians is on the look out for unwanted spectacles in support of a charity which improves people’s sight all over the world.
Patrick Myers, director of Special Eyes in Stretford Mall, has been to Brazil to see first hand how donated glasses can transform the lives of some of the world’s most impoverished people.
Patrick, from Altrincham, who is also a councillor for Hale Barns ward, travelled with a 14-strong church group to one of the country’s most poverty stricken regions in the north eastern state of Piaui.
That prompted him to ensure his business started to collect glasses which could be sent via the charity Vision Aid Overseas to people across the world including Africa, Asia and South America.
Patrick, 61, a father of three daughters and grandfather to baby Noah, said: “The gap between the rich and poor in Brazil is absolutely huge. On one side you have people driving around in blacked out limos with gated properties and helicopters and then at the other, those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
“We travelled out to a very remote and poor community to a little hamlet with the nearest city being Teresina. There we met a lady who was aged around 50 and had four children and several grandchildren.
“Her husband was unable to work and she supported the family by sewing but as her vision had become difficult, she had been forced to give up because she could not see the thread properly.
“I had taken some glasses with me and for legal reasons we were not allowed to give eye tests but via trial and error, we found a pair which restored her sight well enough for her to start sewing again.
“They were men’s glasses and the fit wasn’t perfect but it didn’t matter to her and with any luck they will last her for at least 10 years.”
Every couple of months, hundreds of donated spectacles are parcelled up by the Special Eyes team and sent to the charity to help more people like the woman Patrick met in Brazil.
Colin McCrory, Stretford Mall manager, said: “It is a great and very fitting cause for Special Eyes to support Vision Aid Overseas in this way.
“It is sobering to think that a pair of glasses which we might think are next to useless can be so incredibly valuable to somebody else on the other side of the world.
“I feel sure our loyal, community spirited shoppers will continue to support the Special Eyes team’s efforts.”
Jayne Simcock, manager of Special Eyes, said: “The people of Stretford are very generous and we have had a lot of support for the appeal.
“I would urge people to keep bringing them in for us. Please don’t throw them away or leave them in a drawer gathering dust because we can put them to much better use.”
Take your unwanted glasses to Special Eyes in the Stretford Mall and have an eye test or pick up a new pair while you are there. Contact the store on 0161 865 7312.