How I serve my community

On the road: charity cycle fundraiser helps people experiencing homelessness

Optometrist director at Specsavers Leven, Adrian McCann, shares why he decided to embark on a 478-mile cycle for charity

A man smiling standing in an empty country road with a bright green bicycle. He is wearing sunglasses on his head, a navy-blue zip-up jacket, Specsavers branded gloves
Three Specsavers colleagues, Richard Curtis, Adrian McCann and John Adams, cycled 478 miles from London to Edinburgh in seven days to raise funds for Crisis UK. OT caught up with optometrist director at Specsavers Leven, Adrian McCann, to find out more.

Can you share what you have been doing to help serve your community?

Specsavers is partnering with Crisis, the national charity for people experiencing homelessness, as part of its commitment to improve access to care for this group of people. It matters, which is why I decided to take part in this challenge to help fund the new Crisis centre in Edinburgh.

Why is it important to you to help others?

For me, it’s simple. We all have a responsibility to help others who are less fortunate or who may have come up against hard times. That’s what being human is all about.

What inspired you to get involved and take on this challenge?

I recently got back into cycling again, which helped me overcome some recent health issues earlier in the year. I saw this challenge as giving me a great focus and allowing me to give something back, by doing something that has helped me personally. It was a no-brainer.

In the community, we all have a social responsibility to help each other


Is this the first time you’ve embarked on a fundraising challenge like this and what has been the biggest challenge?

Yes, and it is by far the biggest challenge, physically and mentally, that I have done. You cannot underestimate the months of training leading up to the challenge. At times, I wondered whether I had bitten off more than I could chew. But I have a very supportive family. And we did it, we completed the challenge.

Has your practice, colleagues or the local community supported you?

Absolutely. The support has been overwhelming at times. Everyone has been behind me all the way. My colleagues within Specsavers in Scotland donated more than £5000 to Crisis for the event.

Man smiling wearing a bicycle helmet and sunglasses on his bike on a country road
Richard Curtis
Furthermore, my practice has raised awareness in our local community, raising donations from colleagues and patients. Altogether, we helped raise £30,000 for Crisis centres in Edinburgh and London.

During your career are there any other projects, events, or charitable initiatives that you are proud to say you were a part of?

Specsavers’ purpose is about changing lives through better sight and hearing. We live that by supporting the communities that we live and work in, through various initiatives and charity activity.

This challenge has been my biggest and one that I am proud to have taken part in.

Do you have any advice for optometrists or practice owners who would like to support their community or a start a fundraising challenge for charity?

In the community, we all have a social responsibility to help each other. As everyone knows we are in tough times at the minute, so anything we can do gives us all a sense of purpose.