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Specsavers’ Llanelli and Gorseinon stores thank customers for helping support people experiencing homelessness

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Specsavers stores across Wales are thanking customers for helping raise funds to support people experiencing homelessness.

Research has revealed that more than half of people experiencing homelessness have unresolved issues with their vision, with a lack of permanent address often being the barrier to accessing such healthcare.

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The store in Gorseinon has joined fellow Specsavers businesses throughout the UK to raise awareness and vital funds for Crisis’ much needed work to end homelessness, through in-store and online donations and staff volunteering.

Specsavers has become the first ever corporate sponsor of the Crisis at Christmas campaign. Specsavers colleagues across the UK will help Crisis expand the range of health and wellbeing services it already provides in its Skylight centres across Great Britain.

Specsavers will run eye care clinics in five of Crisis’ centres this Christmas, offering free eye tests and providing free glasses to people in need. Over the next year, Crisis and Specsavers will work together to further expand eye care services for people experiencing homelessness across the country.

Amanda Fethney, dispensing optician at Specsavers Gorseinon, recently volunteered at an eye care clinic in Swansea as part of the Crisis at Christmas campaign. She was joined by Matthew Harvey, store director at Specsavers Llanelli.

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Clare Corcoran, Specsavers regional chair for Wales, says: ‘Our purpose is to change lives through better sight, as well as hearing, as we know all too well the impact that uncorrected vision or undetected sight conditions can have on people’s quality of life. The fact that so many people experiencing homelessness needs glasses but struggle to access eyecare is just something we can’t ignore.

‘We are very proud to be supporting Crisis to help support it’s tremendous and much needed work, in particular the strides the charity is making to improve access to healthcare for people experiencing homelessness.’

Matt Downie, Crisis chief executive, says: ‘Experiencing homelessness has an extremely negative impact on people’s health. But sadly, we regularly see many people suffering and finding it difficult to access health services because they fear stigma or are not easily able to register due to not having permanent addresses. So, we’re delighted to partner with Specsavers, which will allow people we help to receive quality eye care in our Christmas centres.

‘With rising costs continuing to impact people’s ability to pay bills and rent, we fear that the numbers of people facing homelessness will grow over the difficult months ahead. This is why the need for our Christmas and year-round services has never been more important and why we need as many people as possible to stand with us. The valued support from Specsavers and its staff will help us continue to help people who desperately need it this Christmas and beyond.’

Crisis works with thousands of people experiencing homelessness, providing education, training and support with housing, employment and health. Through its frontline services across Britain, the charity helps people find a path out of homelessness for good.  

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More than 227,000 people across Britain are currently experiencing the worst forms of homelessness, including sleeping on the streets and on public transport or in insecure and temporary accommodation like hostels and B&Bs. The cost-of-living crisis will see this alarming figure increase further, with many more put at real risk of homelessness as financial pressures intensify.

Specsavers is also supporting the Big Issue Group as part of a broader campaign to break down the barriers that people experiencing poverty and homelessness face in receiving eyecare, as for many, a lack of permanent address prevents them from accessing NHS services. 

As part of the Crisis at Christmas appeal customers have the option to donate via Specsavers’ Just Giving page links placed in stores. All fundraising goes directly to Crisis.

Lead image: Matthew Harvey, store director at Specsavers Llanelli, and Amanda Fethney, dispensing optician at Specsavers Gorseinon

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