Optical Confederation supports 10 Year Celebration for Vision Care for Homeless People
A milestone was reached this week as Vision Care for Homeless People clocked up ten years of providing eye care and glasses for the dispossessed. Some 7,000 people in the UK have been helped to better vision during this time.
Optical Confederation members, who support the charity, and a host of volunteers, joined the celebrations at the Crisis Skylight Centre in Whitechapel – where the very first clinic was held in 2003.
Harinder Paul, the optometrist charity founder and now managing director, reflected on how VCHP has grown to five well established centres – with three in London, others in Birmingham and Brighton – and with a sixth to open in Manchester in 2014.
Barry Simons, Founder Trustee, spoke of the tremendous commitment of the volunteers during the ten year period –
“There are so many young people involved in the charity and their passion and commitment is truly impressive. A lot of our young supporters have excellent values and commitment to help those less fortunate than ourselves. It is these volunteers who have put the charity where it is today.”
Barry, who has an extensive knowledge of supporting homelessness charities, stressed the importance of the work –“in London we have seen rough sleepers increase by 16% in the last year alone”.
David Hewlett, speaking on behalf of the Optical Confederation, said: “The Optical Confederation has been a supporter of Vision Care for Homeless People for many years - particularly FMO members (who have donated equipment) and others who have provided funding and other forms of support. We all recognise the need for homeless people, who can come from all walks of life, to have the same access to eye health services as anyone else.”