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Charity supports homeless over Christmas

Vision Care for Homeless People performed more than 270 sight tests as part of its Crisis at Christmas activities

Volunteers setting up for VCHP's Crisis at Christmas initiative

Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP) tested the sight of 279 homeless people over the Christmas period, dispensing 235 pairs of spectacles.

Furthermore, the charity dispensed 54 pairs of ready readers, and made 22 referrals for further investigation, with many patients seen by consultant ophthalmologist, Jan van der Hoek.

Much of the diagnostic technology, including optical coherence tomography (OCT), used by volunteer optometrists during the testing, was provided by Topcon.

Speaking about supporting the cause, Topcon’s southern senior manager, Andrew Brandi, said: “We have supported Crisis for a number of years and it is truly humbling to see the goodwill that the charity gains.”

He added: “Each year it becomes more and more organised and has moved on a lot from the early days when the service was quite rudimentary. Now we provide a complete test room with tonometer, field machine, computerised test chart and slit lamp, and the OCT means that the diagnosis can be made there and then.”

The annual service is run in London in partnership between the charity and the wider homeless support provider Crisis, and includes a range of services such as dental care and hairdressing.

VCHP runs a number of clinics across the UK covering London, Manchester, Birmingham and Brighton. For more information about the service and to volunteer, visit VCHP’s website.