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Setting sights on improving eye care in Africa

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A STORE director from a Frome opticians is embarking on his fifth charity visit to Africa, to support the work of an international eye care charity. 

Richard Goring, from Specsavers in the Westway Centre, will visit a vision care centre based in a hospital in the Butajira region of Ethiopia as part of a trip organised in partnership with Vision Aid Overseas (VAO). The charity provides vital eye care to people in remote areas of Africa. 

Alongside helping to upskill ophthalmic nurses by training them to refract, Richard and five other optometrists will deliver an outreach programme, taking equipment for sight tests to schools and rural areas. 

“I’m delighted to have another opportunity to return to Ethiopia, having been once before with VAO,” says Richard. “It can be easy to take eye care for granted in a country where it is so accessible and affordable, but for people in places like Ethiopia, it’s something that many go without. It’s amazing how you can change someone’s life simply by helping them to see clearly.”

Richard, who is the deputy team leader for the trip, became involved with VAO through Specsavers in 2012, and along with Ethiopia, has travelled to Botswana and Zambia. Working alongside ophthalmic nurses and technicians, he has helped to set up vision centres, develop outreach services and make a difference to the lives of thousands of people who can struggle to get an education or provide for their families due to poor eyesight.   

 “I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me for this latest trip, as well as all my previous visits. These wouldn’t have been possible without the help of those who are fundraising or donating old specs for the charity,” said Richard.

To find out more about the work that Vision Aid Overseas does, please visit: www.visionaidoverseas. For more information, visit Specsavers at 19 Westway Centre, Frome, BA11 1BS call 01373 451 180 or go to www.specsavers.co.uk/ stores/frome 

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