Manchester is to be the location for the latest Vision Care for Homeless People clinic, with the opening due to take place early in 2014.
Contracts have been signed with the Cornerstone Day Centre, in Denmark Road, close to the heart of the city, with a dedicated room for optometry. The largest venue of its type in Manchester, it has a footfall of at least 100 people a day. As the charity managing director, Harinder Paul explained –
“We work closely with other homeless charities and have known for some time that there is a need for our service in the north-west and we are delighted to be able to proceed, thanks to the generosity of our wonderful sponsors. The trustees at Cornerstone have been most welcoming,” he said.
Funding for three years has been generously donated by Optometry Giving Sight – their major sponsorship project which celebrates ten years of OGS and VCHP. Optical equipment and glazing has been pledged by several optical companies – Optix software to run the administration and records of the clinic, Caledonian Optical to provide glazing and lenses, Carleton Optical to supply the diagnostic equipment, Specsavers for frames and equipment, and a digital test chart donated by Thomson software.
As well as professional staff being needed each week, a volunteer optometrist or dispensing optician manager is sought to oversee the running of the clinic –
“This is a very rewarding role and takes about an hour of work a week, to ensure that the staff and co-ordinated and supplies in order. The good thing is that the volunteer manager can pretty much select their own times of working too,” added Harinder.