Charity providing free eye care for homeless people gets cash boost to expand London services

A charity providing free eye care and glasses for homeless people has been awarded a grant to expand its services in London.

The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has given £37,100 to Vision Care for Homeless People, a charity that supports thousands of homeless people in London every year with eye care.

The funding will go towards employing new staff to boost its services across London, including introducing mobile clinics to reach more vulnerable people across the capital.

Vision Care for Homeless People, primarily based in Tower Hamlets, ensures impoverished homeless people in London receive the eye care they need- including eye tests and glasses – at no cost.

The charity has three clinics in London, at Spitalfields, Marylebone and Shepherd’s Bush.  Each clinic is run by a team of volunteers including an optometrist, dispensing optician and clinic assistants.

Recently, in the course of a week the charity saw a record 353 patients.

Homeless people with eyesight problems need glasses to help with finding accommodation and obtaining or retaining employment. Helping them to stay safe and enjoy every day activities, it is key to them changing their lives.

Vision Care for Homeless People says people living on the streets are particularly disadvantaged when it comes to obtaining eye care, with more than half being ineligible for free eye tests and glasses on the NHS.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “This is a really special charity providing a service that is completely life changing. For someone who is homeless to move forward with their life, they need the tools to do it –  and this charity is providing this vital resource.

“Thousands of people are already being helped through this service. But there are more vulnerable individuals who are currently not being reached that would really benefit from this service. Our grant will help to change this.

“City Bridge Trust is committed to tackling disadvantage across the capital and making London a fairer and better place to live.”


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