New Vision Care for Homeless People clinic to open in Gloucester

The clinic will be the charity’s ninth in England, and is actively seeking volunteers

Karen Gennard and Di Landon
A new Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP) clinic is set to open in Gloucester.

The clinic, which will be the charity’s ninth in England, will operate weekly within the Rikenel Health Centre, which already supports people experiencing homelessness.

Local optometrist Karen Gennard, pictured above with Di Landon, a primary support worker at the Rikenel Health Centre, will be the manager.

Gennard said: “We know that homeless people don’t always have easy access to health services, and as we will be in the same building as GPs and nurses caring for the homeless community we are expecting to have many referrals.”

She added that, because around 70% of homeless people need glasses for some aspect of their vision and 10% of patients seen are referred to hospital for other ocular conditions, VCHP is expecting the clinic to be busy.

The clinic is funded by Gloucestershire CCG and supported by the Local Optical Committee. Technology has been provided by the Hakim Group, while the Norville (20/20) lab is taking on the glazing work and additional supplies are being donated by Bondeye and Mainline Instruments.

The clinic is looking for volunteers and for a team lead to oversee fundraising. For more details email [email protected]