Don’t know what to do with your unwanted spectacles? Would you like to help give sight to others through Vision Aid overseas? Then read on.
Our colleagues in Chichester Lions have been collecting and sorting used spectacles for almost 35 years. Collecting spectacles for recycling was a club activity as far back as 1967, however it became a major project for the club in 1980 with a delivery of 700 sorted specs to the Missionary Optical Society in Devon for use in their clinics in Kenya and India.
In 1985 the Lions linked up with the Le Havre Lions and Medico France and over the following five years some 100,000 specs, 43,000 lenses, and 10,000 frames were sent to Medico France while still delivering to M.O.S. in Devon, as many pairs of sorted specs as they needed.
In 1988, another outlet was established through Vision Aid Overseas, and in 1990 Boots the Chemist and Help the Aged joined in a national campaign which produced 460,000 pairs of specs in six months. Once sorted they went to places such as Cameroon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, India, Zanzibar, Jamaica, Bolivia and Brazil.
Today, Lions clubs throughout the UK, including Cranleigh Lions have collection centres for used spectacles. Our collection box is located in the foyer of the Cranleigh Medical centre. Spectacles are delivered by us to Chichester to be processed by club members and other volunteers in their workshop. The team have considerable experience in selecting the items that are suitable for recycling and to sort them in preparation for onward transmission to Medico France in Le Havre. Medico France have the necessary equipment to clean and grade the spectacles, ready for use in eye camps in Africa, India and Eastern Europe.
In addition to supplying Medico France, contacts have been developed with individuals and charities based in the UK who are carrying out eye-camp projects overseas.
Every year over 300,000 pairs of spectacles are sent to Medico France, and the UK Lions clubs now provide more than 50% of all the spectacles processed by them.
Nothing is wasted – materials from spectacles that are unsuitable for recycling are used to raise funds for the project – and funds raised are used to support sight related research and charitable projects around the world.
Recycling of scrap material from broken and unsuitable spectacles yields funds which support the sorting operation and enable us to give financial support to eye related projects in the UK and overseas.
Since the project began, over £740k has been raised from recycled scrap materials and over £525k has been donated to sight related charitable causes.
If you have any unwanted spectacles, without their cases please, you can donate them to the Lions project.
Our collection box is located in the entrance foyer of the Cranleigh Medical Centre.
Please note that we cannot recycle spectacle cases, as these take up too much space and and increase the transportation costs.
Contact us – If you would like more information about the Lions or would like to help, please get in touch. www.cranleighlions.org or write to The Secretary Cranleigh & District Lions Club, Hillview, Smithwood Common, Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 8QP.
Check out our website www.cranleighlions.org, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
You can read more news from Cranleigh Lions Club & District HERE.