SHOPPERS in Sale and Altrincham have generously donated a record-breaking 14,000 pairs of glasses to to help improve eyecare in Africa, as part of a charity campaign organised by Specsavers international eyecare charity, Vision Aid Overseas.

The campaign will see the old and unused glasses recycled by VAO in order to raise money to help provide much-needed optical services for people living in poverty overseas.

VAO, founded in 1985, helps to improve access to affordable eyecare and glasses for people in some of the world's poorest countries and since 1985 the group has raised over £600,000 for Zambian eye care, including an optometry technologists training course at the Chainama College of Health Sciences in Lusaka, 10 staffed vision centres across Zambia and a national eyecare outreach programme.

Impressed by the generosity shown over the past year, Sale and Altrincham Specsavers store director, Steven Dare, said: "The campaign this year has been a massive success thanks to our very kind and generous customers bringing in their old glasses. Every single one will make a difference.

"In a country where opticians’ services are readily available, such as the UK, it is easy to take our vision for granted. In poorer parts of the world where people don’t have access to eyecare services, these donations and Vision Aid Overseas can make a significant impact on people’s lives."

As well as VAO, Specsavers support a number of UK charities and worked with RNIB for a public awareness campaign to transform the nation’s eye health.