Opticians hand out free glasses to homeless people for Christmas

The clinics are part of a nationwide initiative by Specsavers to improve access to eye care for disadvantaged groups.

Specsavers offers free glasses to homeless people at Christmas eye clinics in Edinburgh Supplied

Opticians have give homeless people free eye tests and glasses at special Christmas clinics in Edinburgh.

The clinics are part of a nationwide initiative by Specsavers to improve access to eye care for people experiencing homelessness and other disadvantaged groups.

Six members of Specsavers staff treated ten people at clinics held in Edinburgh, dispensing new glasses and issuing health care interventions to those who needed it most.

Dispensing optician Laura Baird, optometrist director Samantha Davidson and optical assistant Samantha Howie treated five patients at the first clinic, where four people received glasses on the day.

Optical staff from Specsavers in Edinburgh

The clinics come after National Centre for Biotechnology Information published a study that revealed one in three people who are homeless need glasses.

Samantha Davidson, optometrist director at Specsavers, said: “Volunteering with Crisis gives me an opportunity to give back to the local community, and allows me to provide an essential service to those who need it.

“I believe access to eyecare should be available for everyone, and so this clinic at Crisis is a great step forward to achieving this.

“If I can use my skills to make people’s lives a little bit better, then that makes volunteering worthwhile.”

Crisis works to support thousands of people to provide education, training and help with housing, employment and health.

Matt Downie, Crisis chief executive, said: “People experiencing homelessness can face significant barriers when trying to access the healthcare they need and can go for years without having an eye test.

“We know half are likely to develop serious eye health conditions.

“Being able to connect the people we support at Christmas to vital health care services can make a huge difference to people’s lives and why we’re incredibly grateful to be working with Specsavers to deliver much needed eye tests and advice.”

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