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Opchat Magazine Charity PageCharity News, October to December 2020



Vision Care for Homeless re-opens clinics
2020 Bursary Scheme goes live provided by the Spectacle Maker's Charity
The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers launches a new Charity
Read Charity News from July to September 2020

Vision Care for Homeless re-opens clinics

October 2020

Peter Reeve Essential eye care for the UK’s most vulnerable people has started again thanks to Vision Care for Homeless People’s tremendous supporters. Full PPE has been generously donated by Essilor and protocols established to protect both patients and clinicians.

Financial backing from STEPPER EYEWEAR UK has made a significant difference to the charity, enabling one of the London clinics to open and with other regional clinics due to resume very soon in Birmingham and Leeds.

Peter Reeve, Managing Director of STEPPER EYEWEAR UK, explained the company’s support: “During a period of being told to ‘stay home’, those of us with comfortable homes realised more than ever how fortunate we are. The basic need for a safe personal space has never seemed more important, highlighting the division between those who have, and those who do not have a home. More than ever, we are thinking about the things that really matter to us."

“While busy pursuing our commercial goals it is also empowering to support an organisation that assists those whom we can help directly. As an international brand we are keen to support relevant good causes wherever they may be around the world.”

Daljit Bhandari the optometrist who has opened the first post-lockdown clinic for VCHP at the Broadway centre in London, said: “We have completed the first four weeks of clinics and I have seen patients with many challenges. One was +6.50 and struggling with another person’s ready readers; another chap had been without specs for three years but was significantly short-sighted. I have seen patients with cataracts and another with glaucoma and we have been able to make referrals to Moorfields."

“It is very rewarding to help these patients – many have mental health problems and plenty have had good jobs in the past and now found themselves homeless.”

Vision Care for Homeless People is looking for volunteers – particularly in Brighton… if you have some spare time please email

2020 Bursary Scheme goes live provided by the Spectacle Maker's Charity

October 2020

The Spectacle Makers’ Charity has launched its 2020 bursary scheme for first-year optical students.

The scheme offers bursary awards of up to £1,000 for first year students registered on UK courses in dispensing, optometry and orthoptics, optical technician and assistant training programmes at Level 4 and above, and ophthalmic nursing students.

This is a competitive and time-limited scheme. Applications must be received by 5pm on Friday 18 December 2020 using the online form here

Liz Shilling, Chair of The Spectacle Makers’ Charity, said:

“In the last 4 years, Spectacle Makers’ award schemes have helped more than 75 young people take their first steps in a wide variety of eye health careers. It is a testament to their dedication that 10 out of 14 award winners who graduated earlier this year achieved first-class degrees.

This year, teaching methods have had to adapt rapidly in the face of very challenging circumstances. We know there are students who will really benefit from a little extra support. We’ll be looking forward to hearing their stories and following their progress.

The Spectacle Makers’ Charity aims to inspire future generations committed to visionary eyecare, building upon the rich heritage of our founders, The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.”

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers launches a new Charity

October 2020

WCSM Spectacle Charity
The oldest optical organisation in the world has launched a new charity this week, to coincide with World Sight Day.

The new Spectacle Makers’ Charity combines two previous grant giving trusts - one promoting support for optical education and the other for organisations helping vision impaired people get the most out of life.

These trusts have previously given over £70,000 a year in charitable support, benefiting students of dispensing, optometry and orthoptics, trainee ophthalmologists and charities working across the United Kingdom and abroad.

Bringing the two elements together will allow the Charity to be more efficient and impactful in its giving and set a clear direction for ongoing support from members of the Company and other donors who have so generously given in the past.

Newly appointed Chairman of The Spectacle Makers’ Charity, Liz Shilling said: “This is a very exciting development. Our new Charity looks forward to supporting all aspects of optical education and enhancing the lives of vision impaired people and their families. In this pandemic year there are extra challenges, both for vision charities and their recipients and for young people starting their careers in eye health. The Spectacle Makers’ Charity will play its part in helping them, as part of our ongoing mission to support better vision for all”.


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