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Opchat Magazine Charity PageCharity News, January-March 2016



Twiggy appeals on behalf of Vision Aid Overseas on BBC Radio 4.

Vision Impairment Training sessions available in March in Newham.

UK Vision Strategy announce 2016 Conference and Registration.

UK Vision Strategy parliamentary reception calls for a greater priority for eye health and sight loss services.

Twiggy appeals on behalf of Vision Aid Overseas on BBC Radio 4.

March 2016

Twiggy Image by SpecsaversIconic model, actress and singer Twiggy will be the voice of Vision Aid Overseas BBC Radio 4 appeal for support on 10 April 2016.

The appeal will air on Sunday 10th April at 7.55am, before being repeated at 9.25pm the same day and again at 3.25pm on Thursday 14th April.

Twiggy will tell an estimated 1 million listeners the story of Yisimash, a 28 year old nurse, from Amba Giorgis in Ethiopia and how a simple eye test and spectacles enabled Yisimash to continue to care for her patients.

Twiggy said ‘I can’t imagine what it must be like for people in poor countries who can’t get glasses and can’t read or do their work’.

Vision Aid Overseas works in five African countries, with volunteer Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians from the UK who regularly volunteer on two week assignments.

The Professional Optical volunteers help establish vision centres, provide training for eyecare workers and deliver outreach services in rural communities, giving eye tests and providing spectacles to children and adults who need them.

Since its foundation, Vision Aid Overseas has helped over 1 million people worldwide, like Yisimash, by providing them with a life-changing pair of spectacles.

Readers can support the appeal either online via the Radio 4 website or by calling 0800 404 8144. Or you can write a cheque to Vision Aid Overseas and send it to Freepost BBC Radio 4 Appeal.

Vision Impairment Training sessions available in March in Newham

January 2016

Vision Impairment Training

A collaboration between East London & City Local Optical Committee and East London Vision supported by the Newham Vision Strategy Group.

EL&C LOC in conjunction with ELVis announces three further dates for Vision Impairment training on 2nd March, 7th March and 16th March.

vision impairment trainingThe workshops are funded by the Newham Community Education Provider Network (CEPN) and are designed for those wishing to provide a high quality service to blind and partially sighted people.

The training is targeted to anyone in Newham who provides health and social care to patients and the public who may be affected by a visual impairment and that this includes general practitioners, optometrists, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, social workers, health and social care assistants as well as the voluntary sector.

The aim of the workshops is to provide those attending with relevant information relating to sight loss so that they can provide effective, person centred assistance to Vision Impaired people and enable them to;

• Use appropriate terminology with people experiencing some form of sight loss

• Understand the different impact of various causes of sight loss

• Guide a vision impaired person

• Understand how to communicate with Vision Impaired people effectively

Three events have been run so far which have been well received.

Delegates said,

“Really useful, interesting & interactive workshop. Helpful in reinforcing my own good practice & new ideas I had not thought of.”

“It was great hearing about Roger and Masuma’s experiences and understanding things from their perspective”

The LOC has been involved with the CEPN since 2014 and it has proved invaluable in networking with other Primary Care colleagues

Mushir Bakhsh Chair of the EL&C LOC said, “This was an innovative series of training sessions opened to a diverse range of staff across the NHS and voluntary sector in Newham. The success of the sessions has empowered us to look at what other training could be provided across the sector. Involvement in the CEPN has brought us closer together with other professionals and gives us a better understanding of what each other does and how we can best help our patients.”

Dr Stuart Sutton, Chair of the Newham CEPN said, “Having representation and engagement from the Local Optical Committee at the CEPN has been transformative. In particular the Vision Impairment Awareness Workshops have transformed the way local health and social care professionals can gain and share information, skills and expertise around eye health and vision and the impact this has on the population we serve. Most importantly it has helped us to foster new and constructive relationships with colleagues from parts of the NHS we traditionally did not interact with and this can only be a good thing for professionals and out patients/service users.”

Further details of the events can be found here

UK Vision Strategy announce 2016 Conference and Registration.

January 2016

UK Vision Strategy logoUK Vision Strategy are very excited to announce that registration is now open for Vision UK 2016:

Expanding Horizons
on Tuesday 14 June at The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London.

Expanding Horizons will push the boundaries for implementing the UK Vision Strategy nationally.

For the first time the conference will collaborate with organisations such as Diabetes UK and Age UK to increase the support to implement the Strategy outcomes.

REGISTER TODAY for the Earlybird Rate of £80. plus VAT here

UK Vision Strategy parliamentary reception calls for a greater priority for eye health and sight loss services.

January 2016

Nus Ghani MPLord Low of Dalston, CBE and leading organisations from the eye health and sight loss sectors hosted a well-attended parliamentary reception on the 12 January in the House of Lords. Sponsored by the Optical Confederation and Thomas Pocklington Trust, the event encouraged MPs and Peers to give greater priority to eye health and sight loss services, and to promote full social inclusion for people who are blind and partially sighted.

Almost two million adults, children and young people in the UK are living with a serious sight problem - on average 3,000 people in every parliamentary constituency. Without decisive action this is set to double by 2050.

Organisations presented briefings, taken from topics highlighted in the UK Vision Strategy Manifesto, to demonstrate how MPs and Peers from all parties can engage with effective interventions to save sight and deliver a better quality of life for people living with sight loss.


Briefing StationLord Low of Dalston, CBE said: “I was very pleased to host this important event to encourage MPs and Peers from all parties to make a real commitment to improving eye health and sight loss services within their constituencies.”

Nusrat Ghani, Conservative MP for Wealden and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Eye Health and Visual Impairment, who spoke at the event commented:

“I was delighted to speak at this event which helped to raise awareness of sight loss and eye health issues and highlighted that failure to invest in early detection and treatment could lead to increased spending in health, education, social care and training. I look forward to taking these issues forward in my role as Chair of the Eye Health and Visual Impairment APPG and encourage members from both Houses to join.”


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