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Specsavers optometrist providing essential eye care in Kenya

Specsavers optometrist providing essential eye care in Kenya

Tony McGinn, an optometrist at Specsavers

Newtownabbey, is setting up an eye-testing clinic in Kenya.

Tony leaves for Kenya on 26 March and will spend two weeks running an eye clinic in Thigio, just outside Nairobi in Kenya, providing much needed sight tests, and glasses donated by Specsavers Newtownabbey customers, to people who do not have access to eye care.

Tony has been an optometrist for 35 years, working as a practice director for the past 23 years. It has always been important to Tony, and all the staff at Specsavers Newtownabbey, to give back to their local community. The Specsavers Newtownabbey practice has supported multiple charities over the years including Friends of the Cancer Centre, Guide Dogs for the Blind and NI Hospice, by organising instore fundraisers and sponsoring local events.

Tony has also been a dedicated member of St Vincent De Paul for over 20 years, supporting the most vulnerable people in the local community.

Tony’s wife, Eibhlin, and his mum, Mona, will also be joining him on this trip. Eibhlin is a teacher at local primary school, St Mary’s On The Hill in Glengormley, and will be spending the two weeks helping out at a local school for children with disabilities.

Mona, who is a retired nursing sister, has been travelling to Kenya for 20 years and will be volunteering once again in a local hospice, supporting the work of The Daughters of Charity.

Tony commented, “I am really looking forward to setting up the clinic in Kenya. My mum has always been my role model and while accompanying her on this visit, I am keen to provide eye care to the local community in Thigio, a rural town just outside Nairobi, where there is very little access to eyecare.

“At Specsavers, we recommend that you have an eye test at least every two years but many of this community have never had one. I am hoping to see around 250 people over the two weeks and help make a difference to their quality of life.

“Going to Nairobi with my mum and wife makes this trip even more special. The parents and children of St Mary’s On The Hill have been a great support to Eibhlin in her fundraising efforts. The pupils have had zoom calls and have written letters to the school children in Nairobi and have kindly donated football kits.

“I am delighted that, thanks to the generosity of our customers who have donated glasses, I am able to pass these on to the people in Thigio, many of whom will experience clear vision for the first time. It is a huge privilege.”

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