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VAO takes over fundraising of Optometry Giving Sight in the UK

Vision Aid Overseas has reached a formal agreement with Optometry Giving Sight to incorporate its fundraising activity in the UK

Nick Rumney with David Scott-Ralphs

Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) has today confirmed that it has reached a formal agreement with Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) to take over its fundraising activities in the UK.

The decision follows the success of a collaboration between the two charities during 2015, which saw them work together on a range of activities to boost fundraising and save on costs.

Following the announcement, chair of OGS in the UK, Bob Chappell, explained: “Due to the success of this collaborative working, our respective boards feel that VAO should be the lead organisation within the UK for mobilising support for sustainable eye and vision care programmes in under-served communities, while OGS should focus its efforts at the global level.”

Mr Chappell confirmed that VAO would coordinate and run this year’s World Sight Day Challenge, as well as the annual fundraising initiative, Cycling for Sight. He added that OGS now requests that funds donated by its UK supporters and monthly donors are sent directly to VAO, and would be used to support agreed OGS-funded VAO projects.

Executive director of VAO, Nigel Wilson, said: “This is a great outcome from all of us who are committed to fight poverty by transforming access to eye care in developing countries.

“Together we will be able to fight poverty and transform even more lives, through the gift of vision. We will be able to provide more eye tests and spectacles to combat uncorrected refractive error among the estimated 640 million children and adults who are affected around the world.

“Given the very similar missions and beneficiaries of the two charities, Optometry Giving Sight is a natural partner for Vision Aid Overseas in the UK.”

Since 2003, OGS International has funded 72 projects in 38 countries worldwide, resulting in basic eye care services being provided to over 7.6 million people.