A sharp increase in the numbers of people using London’s Crisis at Christmas service brought some shocking findings for the team of volunteer optometrists and dispensing opticians.
The seven day service – run as a partnership between Vision Care for Homeless People and Crisis – saw 363 people have their eyes examined, with 24 referred for further investigations. Between them they needed a total of 242 single vision lenses, 68 pairs of bifocals and 82 ready readers. Dispensing day was busy with two people needing specs of -10.00D and several with powers of -8.00 and -9.00D.
“Our brilliant team of 85 volunteers, all from the optical industry, saw 60 more people than the previous year. The ready readers had been generously donated by UK optical companies and the donation of standard Rx lenses and glazing from Essilor was a tremendous help,” said VCHP General Manager David Brown.
“We had a chap in his thirties referred by the Crisis doctors to see us because of frontal headaches. This had been happening for two years whenever he looked closely at anything. Our optometrist found that he was significantly long sighted. He immediately saw the difference with his new glasses and was delighted,” added David.
For anyone looking to take part in this rewarding service, Vision Care for Homeless People runs regular clinics, all year round, in Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton and London. Volunteers and fundraisers are eagerly sought at all of the locations.