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Opchat Magazine Charity PageCharity News, October to December 2018



Its World Sight Day today!! 11th October 2018
AOP and Fight for Sight ask the public to ‘celebrate their sight’ in new TV advert.
Read the archived Charity news from Qtr 3 2018

Its World Sight Day today!! 11th October 2018

October 2018

World Sight Day sees new easy read resource launched to help change lives for people with learning disabilities

To mark this year’s World Sight Day, SeeAbility, the national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss has launched a new resource designed to help people access easy read eye care information.

This World Sight Day, SeeAbility also welcomes support from NHS England who are working to improve eye care services for people with learning disabilities and will also be sharing crucial information on this important issue through their social media accounts, including a new blog from Scott Watkin BEM.

SeeAbility’s “How to be eye care aware” guides are available for people with learning disabilities, their carers and supporters. All versions are available on SeeAbility’s website at and at exhibition stands at forthcoming events around the country.

Ray James, NHS England National Director Learning Disability said: “The NHS is working closely with SeeAbility, expert clinicians and other agencies to offer free sight tests and make them available within the safe and familiar environment of special schools. We hope sight tests will be available in special schools across England within the next 12 months, providing good eye health services to around 100,000 children helping every child to reach their full potential.”

Lisa Hopkins, SeeAbility’s CEO says: “We support the World Sight Day message of ‘Eye Care Everywhere’ because we champion inclusive communities, where people with learning disabilities and autism have the same rights to good eye care as other people in society.”

This is vitally important for adults and children with learning disabilities as they are far more likely to have serious sight problems than other people. Six in ten adults with learning disabilities need glasses to correct their vision, yet many of them don’t know how to access the right support.

Scott Watkin BEM, Senior Learning Disabilities Advisor at SeeAbility said:
“As an adult with learning disabilities and with personal experience of a serious sight condition myself, I understand first hand the importance of good eye care. People with learning disabilities experience an alarmingly high level of sight problems and yet they are much less likely to get the eye care they need. Our easy read resources are an incredibly empowering source of information and are specially designed to explain the key messages.”

AOP and Fight for Sight ask the public to ‘celebrate their sight’ in new TV advert.

October 2018

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is partnering with eye research charity Fight for Sight to promote the importance of regular sight tests in a new TV advert and public awareness campaign launching 3 October.

Images from FfS and AOP TV campaign
The Celebrate your sight TV advert, which features a voiceover by presenter and author, Konnie Huq, will be promoted on Sky Adsmart across 250 postcode districts and ITV Hub nationally from 5 October in Scotland, and from 12 October in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

Ms Huq said she was delighted to be part of the project: “Being a presenter and author, my eyesight has always been so important to me and I’ve prioritised regular sight tests, not just for good vision, but for my overall eye health. The statistic that there are over a million people in the UK living with avoidable sight loss is shocking. We need to spread the message of the importance regular sight tests for all.”

Vicky Vine, Communications Director at the AOP, says the campaign aims to encourage a shift in public thinking about eye health, moving from a reactive to a pro-active mindset: “The requirement was to create a positive public eye health awareness campaign, and the challenge was to make people actually start thinking more about their eye health. If asked the question, 'which sense would you most fear losing?', people respond overwhelmingly with ‘sight’, and yet people rarely consider their eye health until they perceive that they have a problem, in some cases that can be too late.”

The campaign has been created in partnership with Fight for Sight. Dr Neil Ebenezer, Director of Research, Policy and Innovation at Fight for Sight, said “It’s so important that people go for an eye test at least every two years which is why we’re part of this campaign. Our figures show that there are over one million people living with sight loss that could be avoided with the right specialist support. Our recent research with YouGov also found that three in ten people are not getting their eyes tested regularly and that the main reason given is that they think they can see fine. Even if your vision is currently not affected, it’s still really important to get your eyes tested as a test can pick up certain eye conditions at an early stage, allowing you to get the treatment you need. It may also be possible to pick up on early stages of other conditions not directly related to sight.”

Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing, Central and Acton, sister of Konnie, also supported the campaign, saying: “I’ve previously campaigned on the importance of regular sight tests for children, so I was very pleased to hear that Konnie is involved in the AOP’s Celebrate your sight campaign. A sight test every two years, or more if your optometrist recommends it, is something we need to really drum home. There’s an opticians practice on almost every High Street and many people have access to NHS-funded sight tests. It would be superb if the message became as ingrained as regular dental checks. In this day and age, no one should be needlessly losing their sight.”


October 2018

#withoutmysightWestGroupe is marking World Sight Day on October 11, with Optometry Giving Sight, and in partnership with the CNIB Foundation (Quebec).

This year WestGroupe is launching its campaign, the #WithoutMySight Challenge along with Champions who are blind and vision impaired to raise awareness and understanding of what life would be like without sight. Coinciding with World Sight Day, an annual day of awareness and action. It is a global call to come together to create a world where everyone can see. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness and transform lives for people around the world.

The World Sight Day Challenge is a way to bring the global community together to help end avoidable blindness and vision impairment to help comprehend what challenges our Champions go through on a daily basis. Together we can make a bigger impact. More than 1.2 billion people around the world who are blind or vision impaired have limited access to an eye exam and a pair of glasses. This includes millions of children whose future depends on vision correction to learn at school.

“WestGroupe is pleased to be partnering with Optometry Giving Sight & CNIB Foundation (Quebec)”, says WestGroupe’s President, Michael Suliteanu. “We are dedicated to a nurturing partnership that will not only promote healthy vision but also hope for a world where universal access to quality vision care services is both affordable and accessible to those in need.”

Take the #WithoutMySight Challenge and support Optometry giving Sight. Join our Champions Hani Mouila, 2nd year engineering student at Ryerson University & member of the Prime Minister of Canada Youth Council, & David Demers, Executive Director of CNIB Foundation (Quebec), in taking the challenge! Both Hani and David overcome barriers everyday as blind and vision impaired individuals. With WestGroupe they are challenging everyone to complete a daily task, or routine for example, making coffee, applying makeup or making a sandwich blindfolded! Participants in the challenge will record a 30-second video of them attempting their chosen task blindfolded, donate to Optometry Giving Sight, nominate 3 people and upload their video to social media tagging @WestGroupe and using the #WithoutMySight Challenge.

Help us raise funds for affordable and accessible eye care for the world’s most vulnerable children! Support Optometry Giving Sight by participating in the challenge.


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