Supporting local communities: a year in review

Specsavers is passionate about giving back to and working with its local communities, wherever in the world it operates. The business supports many local, national and international causes, and is committed to supporting eye care and hearing care projects in developing countries.

In the past 12 months, Specsavers has donated more than £2.5 million (A$4.5 million) to charities and good causes globally. Specsavers stores provide employment for more than 29,500 local people, all of whom have access to regular training and development, helping them to progress through the business on their chosen career path. The same is true for the 3,000 people who are employed in Specsavers support offices and manufacturing and distribution sites around the world.

Across all its markets, Specsavers is involved in a vast number of activities to raise money for local, regional and national charities.

Some of the highlights for Australia and New Zealand from 2017/18 are as follows:

  • Specsavers’ Western Australia stores raised A$30,000 for the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation by donating a percentage of glasses sales and organising a state-wide fundraiser.
  • Similarly, stores across South Australia worked together to raise A$20,000 for Guide Dogs SA/NT by contributing a percentage of glasses sales and arranging a fundraising ball. The donation is paying for guide dog puppy Essi to be trained and matched with a customer in the state.
  • Through the Specsavers Community Program, stores across Australia and New Zealand donated A$422,000 to The Fred Hollows Foundation. The charity aims to ensure high-quality, affordable eye care is accessible to all, and trains eye doctors, nurses and health workers to create a sustainable system of care in underprivileged communities.
  • Through The Fred Hollows Foundation, Specsavers supported the Lions Outback Vision Van, a mobile eye-health clinic that provides comprehensive ophthalmology care for people living in remote locations across Western Australia. Specsavers’ donations enabled the project to screen 2,000 people and perform 450 eye operations and treatments.
  • Specsavers completed two outreach programs. The first involved some of Specsavers’ optometrists training postgraduate nursing students at Fiji’s Pacific Eye Institute and assisting with cataract surgeries at a local mobile eye clinic. Specsavers’ donations helped the clinic to carry out more than 11,400 consultations, almost 600 operations and dispense 7,250 glasses. Specsavers also visited Vietnam to screen schoolchildren and train refractionists and technicians working on the Vietnam Child Eye Care project.

In 2018/19, Specsavers Australia & New Zealand plans to:

  • Organise four outreach opportunities for its optometrists and graduate optometrists
  • Launch a recycling initiative in collaboration with Lions Recycle for Sight Australia. By collecting pre-loved ophthalmic glasses and prescription sunglasses in Specsavers stores, Lions Club International will arrange for the spectacles to be processed and sent to people in need across the globe
  • Embark on a new research and development partnership with TerraCycle, to explore innovative options for recycling materials such as acetate for use in eye-test technology
  • Collaborate with Aboriginal artist Peter Datjing Burarrwanga to create a limited-edition frame, which will raise funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation
  • Continue to donate paediatric glasses to Fiji’s Pacific Eye Institute and the Regional Eye Centre in the Solomon Islands
  • Continue to support The Fred Hollows Foundation with the Lions Outback Vision Van in Australia and the Mobile Eye Clinic in Fiji.

To find out more about how Specsavers has supported local communities globally over the last year, read the Specsavers Annual Review 2017-2018.