The team also handed out free glasses and raised a total of €75,000 for The Hope Foundation Dublin woman Lisa Walsh described the recent trip to Kolkata as “incredibly inspiring” after the team managed to treat over 1,000 people in disadvantaged areas of the city. In addition to the important work carried out last week the team also helped to raise €75,000 for the Hope Foundation, which supports the development of underprivileged sections of society in India. The team of optometrists was made up of staff from Specsavers stores in Liffey Valley, Clondalkin, Stillorgan, Athlone, Longford, Tullamore and Limerick. They were joined by Specsavers ambassador Darren Kennedy during the week-long trip.

Lisa first got involved with the charity in 2017 when the team raised €11,000. She explained that the 2018 target was to raise €35,000 – which is enough money to run the clinic in Kolkata for a whole year. The team doubled that figure and has also helped to raise awareness for the Hope Foundation across Ireland. Lisa said: “It is thanks to the kindness and dedication of Specsavers staff and customers, who donated large numbers of frames, that we could do this work. There was a huge response from customers who were donating frames right up until the start of November so as we could see as many people as possible during the trip.” Patrick Dennehy, Optom Director in Specsavers Liffey Valley, was also part of the team that travelled to Kolkata to help carry out 1296 sight tests and hand out over 1,000 pairs of free glasses to people in disadvantaged areas. Patrick said: “It was a life changing experience to able to use my profession to help make a significant change to people’s lives in a place that it is needed the most. It has been a phenomenal week and I am so pleased to have been part of it.” Specsavers is committed to the Hope Foundation for a three-year charitable programme and the team is “very excited” to see what the two organisations can achieve together in the coming months.