Where can optometry take you?

Charity challenges

Practitioners share insight into the satisfaction they get from volunteering

21 Feb 2018 by Laurence Derbyshire, Emily McCormick

Optometrists, Miriam Murphy and Alan Bartholomew, have both volunteered on Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) projects previously and would recommend the experience to their peers.

In this vlog the duo discuss their experiences of volunteering abroad. Sharing insight into what a VAO trip involves, Mr Barholomew says: “You test as many eyes as you can and dispense as many glasses as you can in order to help people and make a difference to their lives.” 

Ms Murphy volunteers because of the difference that she can make. “At home, giving people a pair of spectacles and helping them to see isn’t really a big deal, but in the developing world this can really change someone’s life,” she says. 

“I recommend [a VAO trip] because it is an experience that everyone should get to have,” she adds.  

Mr Bartholomew highlights: “VAO assignments are a wonderful way to a make difference to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world whilst at the same time enhancing your own clinical skills and making yourself a better practitioner.”