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Opchat Magazine Charity PageCharity News, October to December 2016



Eye tracking platform for detecting & monitoring age-related eye disease to be developed after grant from 100% Optical Charity Partner.
Magician makes people think they need their eyes tested.
Get #BLINKWINKTHINK-ing ahead of 100% Optical and support Fight for Sight.
Christmas crisis kit – can you help?
VISION 2020 UK launches Starting Point - first steps for families of vision impaired children
Coopervision renews Global Gold Sponsorship of Optometry Giving Sight.
Volunteers needed for Crisis at Christmas Service.

Eye tracking platform for detecting & monitoring age-related eye disease to be developed after grant from 100% Optical Charity Partner.

December 2016

100% Optical's official charity partner have announced that optometry researchers at City, University of London have received a £112,000 grant from Fight for Sight to develop an eye-tracking system for detecting and monitoring eye conditions linked to older age.

An increasing elderly population will cause an ‘epidemic’ of undetected age-related eye disease in the 21st century. As a result the research team believes there is a need for disruptive technology that will better test and monitor visual function in these people.

To help bridge this gap, the team – which is led by Professor David Crabb in the Division of Optometry and Visual Science at City – is continuing to refine and develop their proof-of-concept Eyecatcher computer program.

In a previous study Professor Crabb and colleagues showed that by tracking where people’s eyes move using the Eyecatcher software when watching TV they can identify whether they have glaucoma, an eye disease which can result in blindness, when compared with people who have healthy vision.

In the new project the team will test Eyecatcher on a larger group of people, with different types of films and different equipment under different conditions, to see how well it works. The team have eight different questions they want to answer, including whether Eyecatcher can pick up holes, or blind spots, in people’s vision. This wasn’t tested in the original study.

During the project the team will develop Eyecatcher Lite as an inexpensive version of the software to run on a tablet computer, and hope to make it avaliable for free if it is a success.

Professor David Crabb, Professor of Statistics and Vision Research at City, University of London, said: “Whenever you look around a room or watch TV your eyes make quick jumps from looking at one place to looking at another. Our work might provide a platform for measuring these eye movements in order to better detect and monitor age–related eye disease. We are enormously grateful for the funding from Fight for Sight. Competition for the Fight for Sight project awards is fierce - only 6 were awarded after peer review of more than 70 applications this year.”

This story is featured in the 2nds edition of 100% Opticals Insider journal which you can read online here.

PHN publishers of Opchar news are co-media sponsors for the 100% Optical Event. Read 100% Preview pages here

Magician makes people think they need their eyes tested.

December 2016

Magic at NorvillesKeynsham magician Warren Singer (left of picture) had people thinking that they couldn’t believe their eyes and wondering if they needed them tested at the town’s Winter Festival last week.

He was supporting Norville Opticians with his magic and helping them raise money for their adopted charity Vision Aid Overseas.

With prizes generously supplied by some of the companies they work with they set up a lucky tombola stall where patients and the public stood a chance of winning items such as a watch, pens, jute bags and t-shirts.

Local mum Lisa Barrow of Caernarvon Road, Keynsham won a bottle of Champagne donated by International Eyewear.

Since its foundation in 1985, Vision Aid Overseas has helped over 1 million patients and today focuses on fighting poverty through the power of good vision by transforming access to eye care services. 670 million people worldwide (10% of the global population) suffer because they don't have the right spectacles to achieve good vision.

Get #BLINKWINKTHINK-ing ahead of 100% Optical and support Fight for Sight.

October 2016

Following the success of the 2016 #BLINKWINKTHINK campaign, Fight for Sight, the charity partner for 100% Optical 2017, has announced the campaign will return for a third year.

In the lead up to the show in February 2017, Fight for Sight, the UK’s main eye research charity, will be encouraging the public and visitors to take selfies with one eye covered to help spread awareness of eye research by sharing their image on social media using the #BLINKWINKTHINK hashtag.

A £3 text donation can be made by texting BWTC17 £3 to 70070, to donate to Fight for Sight and help create a future everyone can see.

The charity has also confirmed three speakers from the Fight for Sight’s Speaker Network will be part of 100% Optical’s renowned education programme. Dr. Denize Atan, senior clinical lecturer and honorary consultant in neuro-ophthalmology, at Bristol University Eye Hospital, will be discussing neuro-development and vision on Sunday 5 February.

Dr. Michael Wormstone, from the University of East Anglia, and Pearse Keane, from Moorfields Eye Hospital, will take the stage for their talks on Monday 6 February. Dr. Wormstone, a biomedical scientist, will be looking at developing better cataracts treatment strategy and understanding after-cataract care, while Mr. Keane talks attendees through binocular optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging on the eye.

The infamous Rock-e-oke is also back, moving to the Saturday night to kick off the most important weekend of the optical calendar, as the much anticipated AOP completes the 100% Optical evening schedule on the Sunday night.

Sharon Petrie, director of fundraising at Fight for Sight said: “We’re really excited to launch this year’s #BLINKWINKTHINK campaign to coincide with 100% Optical 2017 and we are pleased to build on our awareness and fundraising activities to support our pioneering eye research.

“We’re also thrilled to be bringing some of the best minds in the field of optics to 100% Optical’s sterling education programme through the Fight for Sight’s Speaker Network. It’s set to be another full-on weekend of fundraising and education for us and we can’t wait!”

Nathan Garnett, event director for 100% Optical said, “We’re very pleased to have Fight for Sight back on board as our charity partner for the third year running. Following the success of our partnership over the last two years, we want to help the charity raise further awareness and funds through the #BLINKWINKTHINK campaign and the quality speakers from its Speaker Network.

“100% Optical 2017 is shaping up to be our best yet, and we’re sure this will have a great impact on the awareness of the charity and its research,” Nathan continued.

To book your place at a seminar with the Fight for Sight speaker network please visit here

The must-attend show, organised by Media 10, attracts global brands from across the optical industry and is expected to welcome 8,000 UK and international visitors to London on 4-6 February 2017.

PHN publisher of your Opchar News are proud to be co media partners of the event.

Christmas crisis kit – can you help?

October 2016

The loan of mobile kits for Crisis at Christmas are sought by Vision Care for Homeless People which is gearing up to provide a comprehensive service in the capital for the week beginning 21st December.

Elaine StylesThanks to domiciliary opticians kindly loaning their mobile optometry testing kits last year the charity was able to provide sight tests and glasses for a record 363 people during the week. All equipment is fully ensured by the charity.

Field screeners are also sought as permanent replacements for the clinics in London and Birmingham, as Charity Chair, Elaine Styles, explained,"We are still using Henson 3000s and would ideally like to replace them with Henson 6000, 7000 or 8000 models. Having new machines would mean that our clinics could run more efficiently and would be more accurate for health screening.”


Any offers of help with equipment for the centres – both permanent and mobile – would be greatly received. Please contact

VISION 2020 UK launches Starting Point - first steps for families of vision impaired children

October 2016

VISION 2020 UK, the umbrella organisation which leads collaboration in eye health and sight loss, has marked World Sight Day with a rollout of a national project, aimed at improving the information given to families at the point of diagnosis of their child’s vision impairment.

The diagnosis of a child’s vision impairment can turn a family’s world upside down. Dealing with the emotions and many questions posed by what the future may hold can be a difficult time.

The aim of Starting Point is to signpost families to resources and professionals that can help with the first steps in accepting their child’s diagnosis.
Starting Point can help by:

• explaining a child’s sight condition and treatment
• helping a family understand what their child can see
• providing advice on their child’s development
• putting them in touch with other parents
• connecting a family to national and local support organisations including local authority vision impairment services
• explaining medical jargon and the role of health and social care professionals who can provide support
• giving emotional and practical support for the whole family
• Advising on how to look ahead, regarding early years, education and leisure activities.

Frontline hospital eyecare professionals are best placed to inform a family of this project, at the initial diagnosis, and the emphasis is on the multi-disciplinary team approach.

Paediatric ophthalmologists, orthoptists and optometrists working in an NHS setting will be sent laminated posters for their waiting room and leaflets they can give to families to promote these services.

Leaflets direct parents to a web-based resource hub, where they can access trusted source information, and contact details for other supporting organisations.

The project has been initiated by VISION 2020 UK Children and Young People’s Committee, developed by professionals from clinical and blind charities backgrounds alongside parental consultation.

Coopervision renews Global Gold Sponsorship of Optometry Giving Sight.

October 2016

Optometry Giving Sight is pleased to announce that CooperVision, Inc. has renewed its commitment as a Global Gold Sponsor for another three years, effective from 1 January 2017.

“We are delighted that CooperVision will continue to partner with us in this way,” said Clive Miller, CEO of Optometry Giving Sight. “This kind of charitable financial support enables us to plan for the future and ensures that we are able to continue funding key program areas including Optometry Development and Child Eye Health through Our Children’s Vision.”

Mr. Miller noted that CooperVision’s cumulative support for vision care projects that are helping to eliminate uncorrected refractive error is expected to exceed USD$2 million by the end of 2016. In addition to its charitable donation, the company also contributes funding through a patient rebate donation program in the United States, now in its fifth year with more than 80,000 patients having participated; the One Bright Vision cause-related marketing program in Europe, and its global Fight for Sight employee fundraising campaign with matching support from The Cooper Companies in support of the World Sight Day Challenge.

CooperVision also supports a number of specific programs in partnership with Optometry Giving Sight, providing funding as well as sending experts on site for professional guidance and observation. The aforementioned One Bright Vision initiative will screen 30,000 children ages 7-12 in the Chennai region of India during 2016, following a similar effort that screened 100,000 children in Tanzania from 2013 to 2015. Another initiative funded in part by CooperVision is helping introduce optometry as a course of study in Vietnam.

“The goals and mission of Optometry Giving Sight are directly aligned with our CooperVision purpose to help improve the way people see each day,” said Daniel G. McBride, President of CooperVision. “It’s inspiring to know that hundreds of thousands of individuals are benefitting from initiatives funded in whole or part by our commitment.”

Coopervision and OGS“Our partnership with CooperVision is really the gold standard when it comes to engagement with industry leaders to help ensure that everyone in the world, regardless of their means, has access to quality vision and eye care,” said Mr. Miller. “The support we receive from CooperVision around the world is truly outstanding.”

CooperVision employees hear from children participating in the One Bright Vision initiative. September 2016.

Volunteers needed for Crisis at Christmas Service.

October 2016

Vision Care for Homeless People is looking for a volunteer to share the key role of Opticians Service Organiser for Crisis at Christmas 2016. The charity has one volunteer already, but feels that the role is best shared.

VCHP Appeal

“It involves project managing a week of mobile opticians' clinics for homeless people across London. It requires working with a team to plan, resource and organise and then manage the service during the intensive Crisis at Christmas week from 23rd to 30th December. We are in our 13th year, so you won’t be starting from scratch,” said David Brown, General Manager of VCHP.

The Crisis at Christmas online appeal for optometrists and dispensing opticians is now live and the charity is urging the profession to consider volunteering for this very worthwhile cause.

Last Christmas the charity ran 29 mobile clinics during the week, plus a fully equipped static clinic on four days staffed by optometrists and ophthalmologists. The team of 86 volunteers performed a record 363 sight tests for homeless guests.

The Opticians Service Organisers will be part of the Crisis at Christmas volunteer team and receive advice, support and assistance from both experienced staff and volunteers within Vision Care for Homeless People as well as the large support staff at Crisis at Christmas.



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