100% Optical

“Smaller organisations don’t realise the impact they can have”

OT  spoke to Morna Lane, head of trusts and corporate partnerships at Sightsavers, at 100% Optical to discuss the charity’s new eye health partnership programme for small businesses

Three colleagues wear bright yellow protective clothing and kneel down inside the Sightsavers exhibition stand

Sightsavers used 100% Optical 2024 (24–26 February) to highlight how vital it finds small organisations in supporting its global eye health mission.

The charity is looking for small businesses who can lend their support without having to make a large financial commitment, Sightsavers’ head of trusts and corporate partnerships, Morna Lane, told OT.

Morna Lane
Support from optical businesses, practices or individuals could exist on a local level and could include setting up donate-as-you-purchase schemes, hosting fundraising events, or supporting Sightsavers’ messaging on World Sight Day, Lane said.

In order to engage smaller partners, Sightsavers has established an eye health partnership package.

The scheme is separate to the charity’s larger corporate partnership scheme.

“It’s about those small organisations, or just an individual optometrist, who thinks, ‘I personally want to do something,’” Lane said.

She added: “They might not see themselves as big enough to go down the route of a charity partner, with a Memorandum of Understanding. So, we thought we would set up a plan for eye health partners.”

Sightsavers has sent out cards, highlighting the global eye health issues that are at play and the work the charity is doing to combat them, to promote the partnership package.

The cards also include a call to action for the Sightsavers website, which explains how small businesses can help.

The website includes case studies, information on how to support the charity on World Sight Day (10 October 2024), and the opportunity to sign up to a quarterly partner newsletter.

Sightsavers also has posters available, which it hopes can be displayed in practice so that optometrists can share their support for the charity with patients.

Lane hopes that partnering with optical practices will help cascade the Sightsavers message down to patients and customers, who will appreciate that their practice is doing something valuable.

“In doing so, they might encourage them to become individual givers,” Lane said.

She added: “I think, sometimes, smaller organisation don’t realise the impact they can have. It can be huge.

“The more people we have coming together doing things, the more noise we can make, and it shines a light on the issue, which is what we’re really trying to do.”

Those who are interested in signing up as a Sightsavers eye health partner should email the charity for further information.

Lead image: Sightsavers colleagues, Jo, Rob, and James, raise awareness of the global inequity of eye health in eye-catching boiler suits and protective eyewear