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Optical Express launches Christmas appeal to support Sightsavers

Posted on November 7, 2014

Optical Express launches Christmas appeal to support Sightsavers

Optical Express has launched a special Christmas appeal to its staff in aid of international charity, Sightsavers.

Over 1,500 employees based in the UK and Ireland received the letter, inviting them to donate one hour from their December salary to the charity and give the gift of sight to someone in need this Christmas.

Optical Express has pledged to match every pound donated, doubling the amount going to the charity. Furthermore, the UK government will also double all donations made in the UK by 31 December 2014.

There are currently 39 million blind people in the world. A massive 80% of this blindness can be prevented or cured. Sightsavers is a working in developing countries across Africa and Asia to combat blindness; restoring sight to people who are blind and preventing others losing their sight to blinding diseases, whilst also supporting people who are irreversibly blind or disabled to live independently.

Sightsavers recently launched its A Million Miracles appeal, to provide one million sight-restoring surgeries to people living in developing countries.  The money raised by the Optical Express Christmas appeal will be used to treat people who are blind, or going blind from diseases such as cataract. A cataract operation for an adult costs £30, and for a child £50.

David Moulsdale, CEO, Optical Express commented: “We whole-heartedly support Sightsavers’ mission to eliminate avoidable blindness around the world. Our Christmas appeal will raise much needed funds to treat those suffering from cataract, a common procedure that we take for granted here in the UK.”

Caroline Harper, CEO of Sightsavers, commented:  The majority of the 20 million people blind from cataracts are living in the poorest parts of the world, where accessing the needed surgery is not simple.  Perhaps they can’t afford it, can’t get to a health centre or a hospital, or don’t know their condition is treatable. For £30 we are able to make a person suffering from cataracts see again – what better gift to give someone this Christmas.  The Optical Express Christmas appeal is a great example of how companies can help to support us in making a difference.”

Optical Express is also inviting its patients to donate to Sightsavers to raise as much money as possible for the cause. Anyone wanting to donate money to the appeal can visit www.sightsavers.org/opticalexpress.

ENDS

For further information or images regarding this story from Optical Express please contact oepr@bigpartnership.co.uk or call Katie Lyle on 0131 557 5252.

Notes to Editor:

About Optical Express:

The Optical Express Group was founded in 1991 and is now a global leader of selected healthcare services.

Worldwide, Optical Express surgeons have together performed over 2 million refractive surgery procedures and their ophthalmic surgeons have a combined surgical experience of over 1,000 years. They treat more patients than all other laser eye surgery providers combined, as confirmed in the UK Government Competition Commission Report, November 2013.

In a recent survey of over 252,179 Optical Express patients, over 99% said they would recommend Optical Express to their family and friends.

In a study completed in September 2014 of nearly 336,381 Optical Express patients, over 99% achieved 20/20 vision or better following treatment.

The company employs over 2,000 people, utilising ophthalmologists and optometrists across more than 160 locations throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, Croatia, Germany and The Netherlands.

About Sightsavers:

Sightsavers is a registered UK charity (Registered charity numbers 207544 and SC038110) that works in more than 30 developing countries to prevent blindness, restore sight and advocate for social inclusion and equal rights for people with disabilities.  www.sightsavers.net

There are 39 million blind people in the world; 80% of all blindness can be prevented or cured.

In the six decades since its foundation, Sightsavers has:

• supported over 483.4 million treatments for blinding and potentially blinding conditions.
• carried out over 8.4 million operations to restore sight.
• trained more than 0.5 million primary eye care workers.
• carried out rehabilitation training for 149,000 blind or low vision beneficiaries
• supported 30,000 blind or low vision children to gain a school education.

Sightsavers’ A Million Miracles appeal launches in October 2014 to raise funds over the next three years to perform one million sight-restoring surgeries across Africa and Asia.

For as little as £30 Sightsavers can give someone their sight back through surgery.