Supporting eye and ear health for Big Issue vendors and the frontline team in the UK – that’s the goal of a new partnership between Specsavers and Big Issue.
It couldn’t be simpler: all Big Issue vendors and our frontline team will be given vouchers, which will give them access to a free eye test – including an eye health scan using Optical Coherence Tomography equipment – free glasses, plus free ear wax removal, which can help people experiencing hearing difficulties and tinnitus. There are no clauses, no small print; it’s straightforward, providing help to everyone.
Providing accessible eye care for Big Issue vendors
“Many homeless and vulnerable people are not in receipt of financial benefits, so face difficulties getting an NHS eye examination and a voucher towards their glasses,” explains Jo Osborne, senior project manager for homelessness at Specsavers. “We want to collaborate with others to achieve long-term impact and that’s why we are working with key organisations, including the Big Issue Group, to help extend eye care to vendors and explore ways in which we can increase access to care to disadvantaged people. Specsavers is all about changing lives through better sight and hearing, and we want to make care accessible to all.”
The healthcare retailer has long-term partnerships with The Big Issue, Crisis and Vision Care for Homeless People, providing high-quality care to those unable to access NHS services.
“We know that the best outcomes happen when we work together to achieve the same goal,” says Jo. “By doing so we can better understand the needs of people experiencing homelessness and together try to achieve lasting change, including lobbying government to make access to care easier and more inclusive.”
Changing lives through better sight and hearing
Specsavers has a long history of making a positive difference to people’s lives by helping them to see and hear better.
“It’s part of our DNA and the principles of the founders Doug and Dame Mary Perkins,” says Jo. “They set up Specsavers with the sole purpose of making eye care, and now hearing care, available and affordable for all.