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  • Southside

Specsavers store directors return from eye-opening trip to Kolkata

Thursday, 5th March, 2020 11:48am

Story by Neil Fetherstonhaugh
Specsavers store directors return from eye-opening trip to Kolkata

Store director at Specsavers Liffey Valley, Lisa Walsh, with a patient in Kolkata

Specsavers store directors return from eye-opening trip to Kolkata

Store director at Specsavers Liffey Valley, Lisa Walsh, with a patient in Kolkata

Two Southside Specsavers store directors have returned from a charity mission in the Indian city of Kolkata where they helped support 1,500 patients.

Lisa Walsh and Conor Dennehy of Specsavers Liffey Valley and Clondalkin, were part of a team of 10 that visited the destitute city alongside charity partner The Hope Foundation.
There they spent a week providing vital eye care in the street and slum communities. The team also visited The Hope Hospital, which Specsavers supports. 

During the week-long volunteering trip, Lisa and Patrick, alongside their Specsavers colleagues, saw 1,500 patients and dispensed more than 1,200 glasses, benefiting people across slums, schools, hospitals and rural villages in the region.

Many of those who were treated by Specsavers staff had never had access to basic eye care before.  

Following her third visit to Kolkata with The Hope Foundation, store director Lisa Walsh said: “I am so grateful to have had the privilege of visiting Kolkata with The Hope Foundation and Specsavers.

“The poverty we witnessed while working in the city is remarkable and even though it was my third visit, it was still shocking to witness the destitute living conditions first hand.

“To be able to give those with so little the ability to see is a remarkable task to undertake, and it was so heart-warming to meet the thousands of patients we treated. I’d like to take a moment to thank all of those who have helped make this unforgettable journey possible – you have all contributed to giving those in need the gift of sight.”

Speaking of his second visit to Kolkata, store director, Patrick Dennehy, added: “Witnessing the poverty in Kolkata made me realise how we all can be guilty of taking healthcare and technology that is so easily accessible for us here in Ireland for granted.

“At Specsavers, we are so proud to be able to provide our customers with access to the latest optical technology such as the recent introduction of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanners which can help to detect glaucoma up to four years in advance. Specsavers will continue to raise vital funds for The Hope Foundation and continue aiding their mission to combat the dire living conditions in the poverty-stricken city of Kolkata.”

At the end of their week-long volunteering trip, Lisa and Patrick presented a cheque of €100,000 to founder of The Hope Foundation, Maureen Forrest.

Having raised €75,000 for The Hope Foundation in 2018, Specsavers surpassed this target in 2019. 

 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here