This week seven years ago, Vision Care for Homeless People first opened their doors at Crisis Skylight and started running their optical services. The charity’s Patron, Lord Geoffrey Filkin, visited the centre and spoke to people who had benefited from the service including Peter who was tested on the very first day.
Lord Filkin has called on optics to embrace the “Big Society” and support the charity’s “phenomenally efficient” work in just a small way.
With a background in housing and a specific interest in homelessness, Lord Filkin said that having been shortsighted since birth himself he recognised the importance of the charity –
“I heard about the model and the fantastic work of the volunteer opticians. During the past three years I have been very impressed as to how the charity has addressed the needs of homeless people and how opticians are continuing to develop the support.”
“The way that opticians are happy to give their time and optical companies their services and technology is very much a tangible part of a Big Society: it would be very good to see NHS support for this in the future.”
Lord Filkin said he hoped that in the future there would be practices operating in Manchester and Brighton where homelessness is a particular problem.
To volunteer support in London, Birmingham, Manchester or Brighton contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photograph by Jeff Hubbard.