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Yeovil Optician Helps Bring Eye Health To Ethiopia

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Having helped raise more than £250 to build an eye care clinic in Zambia last year, local optician Steve Rosser, 44, is now heading to Ethiopia to offer his services in person.

The optometrist who works at Specsavers in Bridgwater, Barnstaple and Yeovil, will work with Vision Aid Overseas in Ethiopia for 2 weeks, helping people who have been debilitated by poor vision. As well as providing optical expertise, Steve will be taking 12 pairs of High Myopia glasses, donated by his store.

Steve comments: 'I'm thrilled to have this chance to help people who are in real need of expert attention. I would also like to thank my colleagues at Specsavers in the Bridgwater, Barnstaple and Yeovil for donating the specialist glasses.'

Specsavers store group director Jeremy Shrubb adds: 'Everyone at the store is really proud of Steve and his dedication.

'As soon as we found out he wanted to help VAO, we decided to donate the High Myopia glasses. These will really help as extreme short sightedness is prevalent in the developing world and unfortunately, VAO have low supplies of these particular glasses.

'We are also collecting glasses to send to people in Africa, so if anyone has a pair that they no longer use, please drop them into our store.'

VAO is a charity dedicated to helping impoverished people in the developing world who are blighted by poor eye sight. Since the scheme started at the store 6 years ago, several thousand pairs of glasses have already been donated to the charity by Specsavers' customers nationwide.

VAO director Tym Marsh says: 'I am thrilled by the support we are receiving from Specsavers in Yeovil. We would like to encourage everyone to continue to help us by donating their old, unwanted specs and handing them in to staff at the store.'

To donate your old or unwanted specs to VAO, please visit Specsavers Opticians located at 50/52 Middle Street, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 1LX.

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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 eldest son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has more than 1,180 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, New Zealand and Australia
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.05 billion for the financial year 2008/9
  • The group plans to continue its successful international expansion by opening stores in New Zealand
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners.
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the seventh year running by Reader's Digest in 2008
  • One in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers Opticians - eight and a half million glasses were sold during 2007
  • 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 will offer a hearing service from more than 400 locations by the end of 2008
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Diabetes UK, for whom they have raised more than £250,000 to fund research into diabetic retinopathy
  • Since 2003 a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas for use in developing countries