National Express East Anglia’s Norwich-based lost property team are helping people in the developing world see more clearly after donating all of the un-claimed spectacles they have collected over the last 2½ years to charity.
During the course of the year many hundreds of pairs of glasses are handed into the lost property office at Norwich station and many are never re-claimed. National Express East Anglia was searching for a suitable recipient for the spectacles, when in stepped the local Lions club to help.
David Bowden the President of the Norwich North Alpha Lions Club explains: “The glasses we collect go to help people across Africa, India and South America, we’re over the moon with the donation of over 750 pairs from National Express East Anglia. Before long these glasses which were left on trains in East Anglia will be helping to improve the sight of people in developing countries and in so doing help them to regain their independence.”
First the spectacles will be graded, sorted, cleaned and polished, before being distributed across India and Africa and South America to help children and adults with visual impairments. Each pair will be adjusted to meet the specific needs of the recipient.
The Lions Club are often known as the ‘knights of the blind’, as well as distributing spectacles to the visually impaired, they also carry out extensive work to prevent River Blindness, including digging fresh water wells; and set up eye clinics in remote areas where doctors carry out cataract operations and treat other operable eye conditions. It is not unusual for the doctors to treat over 100 patients in a day. Moreover, they also train local medical staff, so the eye clinics can become a permanent fixture long after the Lions Club has left.
Anita Miles, National Express East Anglia’s Norwich Station Manager said: “We’re really pleased to have been able to help the Norwich North Alpha Lions Club in the charitable work they do. I’m glad to know that these unclaimed spectacles can be re-used and may go some way to help make someone’s life a little easier.”
The Norwich North Alpha Lions Club is part of Lions Clubs International – to which over 1.3 million ordinary men and women in over 205 countries and geographic areas around the world belong, they aim to meet in Clubs to have some fun and help those less fortunate than themselves. For more information and to find your local lions club please log onto www.lionsmd105.org
All of the spectacles donated to the Lions Club had been in the lost property office for more than 12 weeks and many for as long as 2 ½ years.