A Partner at Specsavers Liffey Valley, Clondalkin and Maynooth has been recognised for 30 years of loyal service. Lisa Walsh, who is also well-known for her charitable work, has more than three decades’ experience working with Specsavers. Starting her career in Aberdeen in 1992 at 21 years of age, she quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a store manager in 1994 and store director in 1996. Making a move to Ireland in 2000, Lisa took the Irish market by storm opening her own store in Tallaght in 2001. Today, Lisa is the store partner for Specsavers stores in Liffey Valley, Clondalkin, Maynooth and runs the audiology business for the Dun Laoghaire store.
Lisa says: ‘Having worked in the Specsavers since 1992, opening my first store in 2001, I have thoroughly enjoyed helping customers in the community with their essential eye and ear care needs. It has been an honour to work with so many amazing colleagues as we strive to provide the very best to our customers.’
Lisa’s passion for providing the best in eye care doesn’t just lie within her local communities. Since 2017 Lisa has championed Specsavers partnership with Irish charity the Hope Foundation to ensure accessible eyecare to those less fortunate in Kolkata, India. Lisa commented: ‘In Ireland, we have access to excellent eye care but many people in Kolkata are not as lucky, making it vital that we do all we can to improve their eye health services. The eye tests in India will enable the team to provide glasses, where necessary, giving children and adults better vision. These people would otherwise have been deprived of this basic need. The gift of sight could significantly change many of these people’s lives.’ Through previous missions to Hope Hospital in Kolkata, Lisa witnessed first-hand how many people were suffering from lack of access to basic eye care. Thousands of people suffering from easily treatable eye conditions, with many simply needing glasses to vastly improve their daily quality of life. As part of the Hope partnership, Lisa has worked with Specsavers to fund the education of eight female students from rural towns in India who are undertaking a degree in optometry.
Speaking about Specsavers funding of education, Hope Hospital CEO, Samiran Mallik, explains: ‘There is a huge crisis of qualified optometrists in India, particularly in rural areas and unfortunately due to the poor financial conditions of many people in these areas, education is a luxury not afforded to many. People cannot go to school and train to become optometrists even though there is a huge demand for them. Thanks to Specsavers we can now train students to qualify in this field and bring their skills back to their communities to help others. But we are also creating an employment opportunity for these young girls.’
Lisa adds: ‘On my missions to Kolkata, it was clear that through Hope Hospital we could only help so many and only those who had access to our eye clinic. We wanted to do more and help more so we looked to education. The Hope Hospital worked with us to identify eight brilliant candidates who were eager to learn about optometry. I had the privilege to meet the students on my last trip and am so proud of how far they’ve come already in the course.’
Optometry students Riya Mondal,19, Soumi Ghosh, 19, and Soumi Bera, 28, are three of the optometry students who all come from poor financial conditions. With parents working as labourers and fishermen, a college education was never an option for them. However, with the support of Specsavers financial support, these young girls are now on the start of journey towards a career in health service. Riya commented that on completing her course she would like to open a clinic in her village and help those in her community.
‘Hope tirelessly work to combat the dire living conditions in the poverty-stricken city of Kolkata and bring much needed eyecare to those in need. We at Specsavers are committed to continuing in our mission to raise vital funds and fund the Hope Hospital Eye Clinic and support these students.’ continued Lisa.
‘I have been extremely fortunate in my career and have had the opportunity to help many people. It has been a privilege to have these opportunities afforded to me so I am thankful to Specsavers for working with me as we bring the best in eyecare to our communities at home and over in Kolkata,’ Lisa concluded.
With the help of Specsavers, The Hope Foundation has so far conducted over 151 free eye check-up camps treating over 25,000 people, dispensed over 14,000 pairs of glasses, provided over 9,000 free medicines to patients, performed almost 1,200 eye surgeries in the Hope hospital and treated 6,525 patients through 368 eye clinics as Hope hospital.
Lisa looks forward to continuing her work with Specsavers and the Hope Foundation through ongoing fundraising taking place in her stores throughout this year and is excited to see what her next decade in business brings.
To book an appointment at Specsavers Liffey Valley, visit Specsavers at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, or call (01) 616 6006. For Specsavers Clondalkin, visit the team in Clondalkin Shopping Centre or call (01) 913 1292, and for Specsavers Maynooth visit the team Manor Mills Shopping Centre or call (01) 913 1309. See www.specsavers.ie for more details.