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Celebrations for 20 years of VCHP ring out from the city

Celebrations for 20 years of VCHP ring out from the city

20 years of Vision Care for Homeless People, and the 18,000+ people who have been helped to better vision through the regional drop-in clinics, were celebrated by a host of volunteers, charity founders and generous donors from the optical community last week.

Celebrations on the 36th Floor of Sales Force Tower in the City gave a birds-eye view of the very first clinic to open at the Crisis centre in East London, as the VCHP team gathered from around the country.

Supporters and donors from the optical supply chain, technology providers, IT companies, and frame and lens companies enjoyed meting the volunteer optometrists and clinic managers. There were also representatives from the universities and optical organisations, plus leading homeless organisations, which have allowed the charity to become such a force – not just in providing accessible eyecare but also in promoting advocacy in pushing for change.

Elaine Styles, Chair of the charity and one of the founder optometrists, was pleased to report that the current seven clinics would be growing to 24 within the near future. Speaking from the heart, Elaine told fellow supporters –

“Thank you for joining us to celebrate the remarkable 20th anniversary. It fills me with immense joy and gratitude to stand before you on this special occasion. Our humble beginnings and shared vision to provide eye care for homeless and vulnerable people in the UK has grown beyond our wildest dreams. Our deepest gratitude goes to the countless volunteers and supporters who have selflessly dedicated their time, skills, and resources to this noble cause. Each has played an indispensable role in transforming the lives of those in need.


“Together, we have provided not just eye care but hope and dignity to individuals who often find themselves forgotten and marginalised. Your participation, support, and advocacy will be instrumental in our collective success. By giving homeless people the gift of sight, we have opened new windows of opportunity, allowing them to envision a brighter future.

“Our collaboration with Specsavers and our other valued supporters in optics will enable us to open doors to new opportunities to transform the lives of those in need. Our work is far from done, but with your unwavering support and dedication, we can continue making a profound impact in the lives of people experiencing homelessness.”

David Brown, General Manager of the charity for eight years, also spoke –

“I love this inspirational charity. VCHP is a vehicle that enables people to share something very special.”

David is taking up a new role with the growing charity to concentrate on new clinic development and advocacy work, while the day-to-day lead will come from the newly appointed Chief Executive, Hannah Telfer.

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