VCHP encourages optometrists to set up clinics for homeless people in their local areas

The charity used 100% Optical to get the message out to supporters, fundraisers and volunteers


Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP) reminded optometrists at 100% Optical how easy it can be to set up clinics for those affected by homelessness in their local areas.

Using their platform as the trade show’s charity partner, VCHP emphasised the message that, with their support along with that of Local Optical Committees, setting up a regional clinic does not need to be difficult.

Karen Gennard, an optometrist who has opened a local VCHP clinic in Gloucester, said: “There is no provision for homeless people to seek out eye care in many parts of the country, but we aim to change that and know that we can create a very welcoming environment.”

She added that the support she received via Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group “could be a template for other areas of the country.”

The Gloucester VCHP clinic is the first to secure funding over and above the General Ophthalmic Services fee, Gennard said, adding that “VCHP provides great support with contracts and setting up. Their links with many equipment and frame companies are very useful and ensure that the clinic is well equipped to provide a comprehensive eye examination and glasses when they are needed.”

Gennard was speaking to delegates from the Essilor Transitions sponsored catwalk.

VCHP now has regional clinics in seven cities, and is looking to significantly increase this number.

The charity used 100% Optical to reach out to fundraisers, as well as volunteer optometrists and dispensing opticians.

David Brown, VCHP general manager, said pledges of support from locations including Brighton and Scotland were made during the show.

Brown said 100% Optical “was a great opportunity to catch up with our loyal supporters and to meet new ones – many with a lot of enthusiasm for their local area.”

He added that “The response from delegates at 100% Optical has cemented our ambitions to create new clinics and to feel confident that our existing clinics will be well supported.”

More information can be found on the Vision Care for Homeless People website.