African trip for caring eye worker

AN OPTICIANS worker is preparing for a two-week trip to Burkina Faso where she will be helping the visually impaired.

AN OPTICIANS worker is preparing for a two-week trip to Burkina Faso where she will be helping the visually impaired.

Chloe Peacock, 24, an optometrist at Specsavers Opticians in Tavern Street, Ipswich, is heading to Africa on December 2 with the Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) charity.

Miss Peacock will be part of an 11-person team aiming to improve the lives of thousands of patients who need glasses to live an ordinary life.

Miss Peacock said: “It's amazing how easily we take spectacles for granted in the UK. Even if you are short sighted or long sighted, it is virtually impossible to consider your condition as a disability.

“There are opticians on almost every high street in the country and nobody in the UK would ever go without. In Burkina Faso, many people, especially youngsters, are severely disabled by poor eyesight.

“I am very excited about the prospect of helping these people.”

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During her trip, Miss Peacock and other VAO volunteers will carry out around 2,000 eye tests in a two-week period and then dispense the spectacles that have been donated to Specsavers in Ipswich and other locations around the UK.

Mark Taggart, store director at Specsavers in Ipswich, said: “We are very proud of Chloe and, as a local opticians, we feel it is our responsibility to support this initiative, in honour of the work VAO do.

“By providing these much needed glasses, the volunteers are enabling children to be educated, parents to provide for their families and giving elderly people the opportunity to live with a quality of life otherwise completely out of their reach.”

There are believed to be 200million people who need spectacles but are unable to get them due to poverty, the fact that they live in remote locations and a severe lack of available optical facilities.

VAO collects old frames which are then tailored and re-used in the third world. Several hundreds of thousands of glasses have already been donated nationwide.

n Do you know someone who is going to great lengths to help a charity? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK

www.vao.org.uk

www.specsavers.co.uk/ipswich

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