Hucknall opticians wants your old glasses to help others overseas see better

A Hucknall opticians has re-started its appeal for old and unwanted pairs of glasses to send overseas to help people in developing countries with sight issues.

Specsavers on Hucknall High Street had to pause it’s previous efforts for the cause due to the pandemic making shipping glasses overseas much more difficult.

But now, the appeal has resumed as part of an overall sustainability push to promote recycling and a greener approach, working towards carbon net zero.

The man behind the appeal in Hucknall is James Hardwick, who has recently returned to the Hucknall store as part of the partnership team.

James Hardwick and Priyen Kotecha with one of the bins of donated glasses at the Hucknall branch

James, 29, said: “Specsavers used to work with the charity Vision Aid Overseas and we used to collect the glasses for them and they would be sent out to volunteers in various countries who would repurpose them.

"The pandemic meant that for a long time we weren’t able to accept donations as these groups ceased activity.

"But now we’ve managed to start working with two companies again, one called Lions International who do the same sort of thing, collect glasses and send them to developing countries.

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“And if the glasses are damaged or broken, we’ve also now got a recycling partner we can use who will melt them down and turn them into garden furniture or storm-proofing barriers for countries that get hit by issues like flooding.”

This new set-up means the Hucknall branch has now been able to start taking donations again and the appeal started up around a month ago.

James continued: “We are accepting donations from everywhere now, not just Hucknall, but from anyone across Ashfield who wants to donate.

"Basically, anyone who has some glasses they don’t need, whether they were from Specsavers or not, and whether they are in two piece or not, we’ll take them and we can use them.”

And already, people are responding well with James saying they have been ‘inundated’ with donations.

He said: “We’ve only had a metre-tall bin in the branch so far and already we have managed to fill four of them, so the response has already been really good.

"Basically, if you have some glasses you don’t need, donate them to us.”