union for life

Sight for poor eyes

Sight for poor eyes, bringing the world into focus

10% (670 million) of the world’s population are visually impaired because they cannot get the glasses they need.

13 million children around the world need glasses. Many of these children risk missing their education because they can’t see well enough to learn.  

 Since 2006 Prospect members, through an ongoing joint campaign with Vision Aid Overseas, have donated over 20,000 discarded spectacles for recycling and distribution to VAO projects in the developing world.

In workplaces across the UK, Prospect members have liaised with management, established collection points in offices, foyers & canteens and displayed the campaign poster on notice boards to raise awareness of this initiative - to literally give the gift of sight to those who otherwise would be excluded from the societies in which they live.

By supporting this initiative we demonstrate, in practical ways, our commitment both as a trade union and as individuals to improve the quality of life for someone in the developing world - to literally give someone the gift of sight!

Prospect has developed at factsheet and activity matrix on the global dimension of core trade union work with ideas on how Branches can integrate global themes into the Equalities agenda. This factsheet includes information on poverty and disability.

How to get started!

  • Discuss with Branch Committee and seek agreement with workplace management
  • Identify collection points (for example, high traffic areas such as foyers, refreshment places or other areas in the office where people gather). It may worth agreeing that boxes be in position for either an defined period (for example 8 weeks) or for an ongoing period of time
  • Identify a local optician who will receive the collected spectacles
  • Display the campaign poster on union notice boards and/or in an area where  colleagues gather
  • Agree to have the electronic poster circulated to all staff in official communiques and/or placed on either the Prospect e-branch or intranet
  • To notify members (and wider staff) email poster and briefing with appeal for spectacles
  • showing the VAO DVD at branch meetings, recruitment gatherings, staff parties or informal groups

Be inspired: Branch case studies

The first case study has been extracted from the “World of Difference" Booklet. Co-ordinated by a member at the Wales Audit Office the collection expanded into the local community and buy in from a small chain of opticians.

The second and more recent case study is from the National Offender Management Service that apart from the hundreds of spectacles collected saw the design of a special collection box. Due to the success of the project, the box has now been moved to the Ministry of Justice.

Vision Aid Overseas has an inspiring bank of case studies of how lives have been changed by either receiving a pair of specs or by enabling local practitioners to develop their skills.

Drop off at HQ

Colleagues in the London area may want to drop off spectacles at New Prospect House. Please mark packages with Branch details and contact person.

For any additional information, queries or resources please contact beverley.hall@prospect.org.uk