In just about any dresser drawer, one can find a pair of spectacles that are no longer being used. That same pair of eyeglasses can change another person’s life.

On October 8th , designated Lions World Sight Day, members of Bexhill Lions Club took boxes of spectacles, donated by local residents to Chichester which is the principal spectacle recycling centre in the UK.

Here over 1 million pairs, collected by 400 Lions Clubs in UK and Ireland, pass through the workshop and are sorted by a team of 12 Lions and volunteers. Items are selected for recycling and then sorted for collection 4 times a year by Medico France in Le Havre, which was set up by French Lions Clubs. Here they have the equipment which cleans and grades the spectacles ready for use in eye camps in Africa, India and Eastern Europe.

Retro and vintage spectacles are purchased by specialist dealers and broken items are re-cycled for metal content which is sold to dealers. The money raised from these activities is used to support sight related appeals from Lions Clubs as well as supporting specialist volunteers for sight related projects.

It all started in 1925 when Helen Keller, the deaf and blind crusader, addressed the Lions International Convention and challenged them to become “Knights of the Blind in the crusade against darkness”.

The challenge was accepted and today, sight programs remain one of the Lions defining causes.

Since 1990 the Sight First program -Lions Vision for All-has played a leading role in reducing global blindness and has helped over 30 million people have improved or restored vision. It also provides funds for projects that deliver eye care services, build or strengthen eye care facilities, train professionals and build awareness in under developed countries.

Ken Rushbrooke ,the Bexhill Lions’ spectacles and hearing aids recycling coordinator said ” Everyone can donate glasses and change someone’s life. Imagine if you could help a child read, an adult succeed in their job, a senior maintain their independence and provide a community with more opportunities to grow and thrive. Everyday, our recycled spectacles program does all of this, and more.”

Drop Your Spectacles in Lions Collection Boxes

You can drop off your unwanted eyewear at Lions-sponsored collection boxes at the following locations: Spectacle Hut, Western Road. Green and Elliot, Sackville rd. Old Town surgery. Cooden surgery. Barry Edwards, Little Common. Sainsbury’s.

For more information about Bexhill Lions Club call Lion Rick on 0845 8339591