Clinical colleagues from Specsavers in Newcastle volunteered with national homelessness charity Crisis on Monday 10 June to deliver free eye tests and glasses to people experiencing homelessness.

The clinic, held at Crisis frontline services in Newcastle, forms part of a nationwide initiative by Specsavers to improve access to eye care for all and sits in the company’s sustainability ‘communities’ pillar.

Specsavers and Crisis have been working together for the past two years to remove barriers to accessing eye and ear care across the UK.

‘Every day, we improve people’s quality of life by helping them achieve better sight and hearing. Unfortunately, for tens of thousands of people experiencing homelessness, it can be incredibly difficult to get access to this care and it is very much a key tenet of our founding vision – to make expert care accessible to everyone.”

Cian Murphy, ophthalmic director at Specsavers Hartlepool

Steven Wheatley, retail director at Specsavers Hartlepool, volunteered at the clinic that was attended by 10 patients. Nine pairs of glasses were dispensed.

‘Providing our expert care to those most in need across Newcastle and the North East was a humbling and heartening experience.

‘Everyone should have access to proper eye care. We were delighted to be able to host this clinic for people facing homelessness in Newcastle, where they received essential attention in the form of free eye tests.’

Steven Wheatley

“People experiencing homelessness face significant barriers when trying to access the healthcare they need and can often go years without having an eye test. We know half are likely to develop serious eye health conditions. Being able to connect our members to vital services has a huge impact on their lives. This is why we’re incredibly grateful to be working with Specsavers to deliver much needed eye health care.”

Matt Downie, Crisis Chief Executive

Specsavers is also collaborating with Vision Care for Homeless People, Big Issue, Focus Ireland, Simon Community NI and other homelessness organisations to create long-term solutions to eye health inequality. Work includes lobbying and influencing government to ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to free eye tests, glasses and domiciliary services.

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