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Pounds for Pups

Thursday, 17 May 2012

SINCE 2009, Specsavers stores nationwide have raised more than £150,000 for national charity partner Guide Dogs.

More than 640 Specsavers optical stores nationwide have contributed to date with eye test donations, in store fundraising, sponsored parachute jumps and marathons.

In 2010, Specsavers sponsored a national photographic exhibition, Amazing Partnerships, to highlight the unique partnership between a guide dog and their owner. Stores supported regionally with a competition for customers to win the chance to attend the exhibition and see their winning photograph exhibited alongside the celebrity prints. 

To celebrate this milestone, Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins visited the state-of-the-art Guide Dogs national breeding centre near Leamington Spa to see how the money was being invested.

Dame Mary says: 'I was stunned by the scale of work and time that the charity invests in the breeding programme, training and ongoing care for all the guide dogs in the UK. It makes perfect sense now, but before my visit I had no idea that the guide dogs regularly returned for an eye test!'

Specsavers has pledged £250,000 to the charity to fund 25 guide dog puppies and highlight the challenges facing many people with sight loss and raise awareness of the vital importance of regular eye examinations.

Dame Mary continues: 'Through our network of more than 640 optical stores nationwide we have been fortunate enough to support this incredible charity as our national partner and help them provide this invaluable service to the blind and partially sighted. We hope to raise £250,000 by the end of this year and I'm pleased to say that thanks to the charity's support our stores have already raised more than £150,000.'

Specsavers will also be headline sponsors of this year's Guide Dog of the Year awards taking place at the Merchant Taylor Hall in London on 19 July.

Jayne George, director of fundraising for Guide Dogs says: 'We have one aim at Guide Dogs: to get blind and partially sighted people mobile, living a full and independent life. The guide dog service is what we are famous for doing so well. We create incredible and powerful partnerships every day of the year that give guide dog owners the freedom they deserve.

'At any one time, we are supporting around 4,500 guide dog partnerships in the UK, yet the guide dog service does not receive any government funding and relies entirely on our supporters to fund this vital service.

'Our partnership with Specsavers is incredibly important and it is with great thanks to the generosity of employees and customers that we are able to support even more blind and partially sighted people to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.'

Specsavers' current support for Guide Dogs follows on from the success of its previous commitment to the charity in 2006, which raised more than £175,000 via store fundraisers, eye test donations and the launch of boy band, All Eyes, and the release of a charity single.

- Ends -


Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers




For further information, please call 0230 7053 6000



Specsavers notes to editors

  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director.
  • Specsavers has more than 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.5 billion for 2010/2011 and is forecast to reach £1.6 billion in 2011/2012.
  • 7.6m customers used Specsavers in 2011 - more than in any other year.
  • Specsavers Optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners.  Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
  • Specsavers employs more than 30,000 staff.
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the tenth year running by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey 2011.
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers* - 10,800,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2011.
  • Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK*.
  • Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world.
  • Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from more than 400 locations.
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing for Deaf People.  During its three-year support for Diabetes UK it raised more than £250,000 to fund various projects.
  • Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries.  Specsavers has raised over £550,000 for the charity since 2006, with almost £250,000 going towards its work in Zambia.