Crisis and Specsavers are celebrating one year of working together. Let's take a moment to look back at what we've been able to achieve together over the past 12 months and what lies ahead for this wonderful partnership.
Crisis at Christmas
The partnership launched during Christmas 2022 with Specsavers sponsoring our long-established Crisis at Christmas campaign, supporting our Christmas activities for people experiencing homelessness financially and through specialist volunteering support. Specsavers holds the exciting position of being our very first corporate partner to sponsor the campaign and thus featuring key communications to our audience across multiple media channels.
Thanks to Specsavers amazing efforts to mobilise volunteers across the country, as well as sourcing testing equipment, we were able to offer 39 eyecare appointments to Crisis at Christmas guests in our Skylight centres across Birmingham, Newcastle, Swansea and Oxford.
Building on the great feedback from last year, Crisis are delighted to be supported by Specsavers again this Christmas.
This year, Specsavers are pulling out all the stops by running 11 eyecare clinics across all of our Crisis Skylight locations, providing free eye tests and glasses to Christmas guests. Specsavers colleagues are also supporting our existing eyecare clinics, organised by Vision Care for Homeless People, in our London Christmas centres and hotels across the festive period.
We are thrilled that for the first time in the history of Crisis at Christmas we will be offering ear care appointments to our Christmas guests staying in hotels in London, thanks to the support of Specsavers audiologists.
India Lovett, Services Engagement Officer – Crisis at Christmas said “Each year at Crisis at Christmas in addition to food, accommodation and festive activities we offer healthcare services such as appointments with a doctor or nurse, podiatry, dentistry and optician services to our Christmas guests. Being able to now offer ear care appointments is a great addition to our existing health care services as this is something most guests will never have considered but will have huge benefits on guests’ hearing and reduces the risk of ear infections. We are so grateful to Specsavers’ employees supporting our Christmas activities this Christmas”
Specsavers have over 1,000 stores and several thousand colleagues based across the country and their involvement is crucial to the partnership, not just for their wider commitment to making eyecare accessible for everyone, but also to raise awareness about homelessness and tackle the stigma surrounding it.
To this end, Specsavers launched bespoke training in September about homelessness which has been taken approximately 200 colleagues and focuses on:
- What is homelessness?
- How to talk about homelessness
- How to support people who are sleeping rough
There are plenty of ways Specsavers colleagues supported Crisis this year, either through volunteering their time at Christmas or by to helping sort stock and donations in the warehouse or in one of our charity shops in London throughout the year.
Jo Osborne, Senior Project Manager for Homelessness at Specsavers helped out at the Crisis Christmas warehouse in August:“Volunteering at the Warehouse was a joy, and even more so knowing it was going to make a small contribution to the mammoth task of raising money to help end homelessness. I would thoroughly recommend it.”
Colleagues are eager to raise funds for Crisis too, from running the London Marathon and half marathon, to selling homemade cookies and packs of Crisis merchandise, all in support of our work to end homelessness.
Lisa Stephen, based in Guernsey, hosted a cookie sale raising over £300.
In September, Crisis CEO Matt Downie took on the challenge to cycle from London to Edinburgh to raise much needed funds for two new Crisis Skylight buildings in the two cities, and three keen Specsavers colleagues decided to join him on the challenge, cycling more than 400 miles in 7 days and raising an amazing £30,000, thanks to Specsavers generously matching their fundraising efforts.
Although the weather conditions weren't ideal, they made it safe and sound to the finish line. We think they are incredible!
2024 will be an exciting year for the partnership. Thanks to Specsavers’ generous support we will be opening a dedicated health and wellbeing space in our Skylight building in Edinburgh, offering eye care appointments through the partnership with Vision Care for Homeless People and working in conjunction with other health care providers and homelessness organisations to offer GP services, podiatry and much more.
Specsavers are also launching a pilot across 50 stores to offer out of hours eye clinics for people experiencing homelessness to ensure that people across the UK can access eyecare. Building on this pilot, they are aiming to get more stores involved in the future, including their domiciliary services, offering appointments in homeless hostels and emergency accommodation.
Thank you to everyone at Specsavers for supporting Crisis in so many different ways. We are looking forward to working with you in the future.
If you would like to find out more about the partnership with Specsavers or Crisis in general please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org