Old spectacle frames repurposed to help Newbury’s vulnerable and homeless
A Newbury charity and optician are repurposing old spectacle frames to improve the eye health of the homeless and vulnerable.
Newbury Soup Kitchen and Valarie Jerome Optometrists run an eye health and vision outreach service every Tuesday from 2pm-4pm at the Salvation Army Hall, which aims to improve the lives of the homeless and vulnerable in Newbury.
Optician Valarie Jerome conducts free eye examinations and for those who need glasses the donated frames are then repurposed and Newbury Soup Kitchen pays for the new lenses.
Dr Jerome said: “It is really important to remember the huge role vision plays in the quality of our lives.
“We need to do everything we can do to support and improve the lives of the homeless and vulnerable, and looking after eye health is a great way to do this.
“The best part of my job is the moment when you give someone a pair of glasses and their face lights up, it makes everything worth it.”
Newbury Soup Kitchen founder Meryl Praill added: “I am so pleased to be able to collaborate with Valarie Jerome and already I can see the impact that glasses are having on our clients.
“Part of our ethos is to give people a voice but now we can help give them better sight.
“Thank you to everybody who has donated frames so far and please keep them coming as we feel this outreach service will grow.”
The outreach service began four weeks ago as just eye check-ups however the team reached out to the public for old frames in order to make sure those in need could access a pair of glasses too.
So far the majority of people who have had eye examinations have needed glasses and one man was overjoyed at being able to see properly again.
The service helps identify any vision issues as well as any other medical issues as eye health is known to be a key indicator for many serious medical conditions.
To donate good condition frames contact Valerie Jerome Opticians directly or drop them off at the practice located at 49 Northbrook Street, Newbury RG14 1DT.