Lion-hearted charity donation

Spectacles donated by Leigh Lions
Spectacles donated by Leigh Lions

Generous fund-raisers from the Leigh branch of a national charity have been donating glasses to give poor people the gift of sight.

Members of Leigh Lions have been contributing to a campaign organised by the charity’s Chichester branch to donate spectacles to be sent off to India, the Philippines and countries in Africa.

One 85-year-old man in India started crying. He told them he had only ever owned one book in his life, his Bible, and he had never been able to read it as he couldn’t see properly.

Jenny Curry

The Leigh branch of opticians Specsavers and the eye facility at supermarket Tesco have both been saving unwanted spectacles for the Lions’ fund-raising effort.

The glasses are now being sent off to people with visual impairments across the world but who cannot afford the equipment they need to improve their lives due to the high cost.

Leigh Lions president Jenny Curry said: “We are sending thousands of specs out to Africa, India and the Philippines.

“One 85-year-old man in India started crying. He told them he had only ever owned one book in his life, his Bible, and he had never been able to read it as he couldn’t see properly.

“Now he can see and read it he was overwhelmed.

“Specs in these poor countries are very expensive and paying for food comes first. Every person we can help to see a bit better, or see fully, is fantastic so please take your glasses along to the shops and tell them they are for Leigh Lions.

“Don’t think you can’t make a difference because you can.”

International Lions clubs are playing a major role in helping improve vision in Africa and Asia, also raising money to send surgeons, opticians and doctors out to some of the world’s poorest countries and training people in medical roles.

The charity estimates it had saved or restored the sight of around one a half million people through its work.

Anyone wanting to join in the appeal can take a pair of old, unwanted spectacles to Leigh’s branch of Specsavers or to the opticians at the town’s Tesco supermarket.