Specsavers and Crisis Partnership

Changing lives, through better sight and hearing

Specsavers and Crisis are working together to remove healthcare barriers for people experiencing homelessness.

Specsavers and Crisis’ partnership launched in October 2022 when Specsavers became the first corporate partner to sponsor the Crisis at Christmas campaign, supporting our life changing services  

Specsavers enabled Crisis to offer eye tests and glasses in Newcastle, Oxford, and Swansea We also provided kits and glasses for 39 guests in Birmingham.

Specsavers will be sponsoring the Crisis at Christmas Campaign again, but we also want to be able to offer eye and ear care appointments to more members and Christmas guests by organising drop-in clinics at wellbeing days and Christmas activities at all of our Skylight centres across Great Britain.

People affected by homelessness can go for years without having an eye test and half are likely to develop serious eye health conditions Specsavers  is committed to removing the barriers accessing eye and ear care. They support Crisis financially, with service delivery and by amplifying the voices of people with lived experience.

Specsavers is funding the development of a new dedicated optician's room in the London Skylight centre alongside Vision Care for Homeless People and has created a dedicated members’ wellbeing space in the Edinburgh Skylight centre. In Swansea, South Wales they have provided vouchers for ear and eye care.

Specsavers is also campaigning for a national eye health strategy in England to ensure that everyone can access quality eye care.

Crisis will support Specsavers’ partners and colleagues with fundraising and volunteering opportunities such as Crisis at Christmas, helping at Skylight centres and Crisis charity shops

Partners and colleagues will be able to undertake special training which will focus on areas such as:

  • What is homelessness?
  • How to talk about homelessness
  • How to support people who are sleeping rough

About Specsavers' homelessness work

For nearly 40 years, Specsavers has been committed to changing lives through better sight and hearing - we're proud of what we've achieved so far and are committed to exploring what more we can do.  

Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, says: "As part of our long-term commitment to improving eyecare accessibility for all, we have pledged to help people experiencing homelessness in particular as they are frequently disadvantaged when it comes to healthcare. Our mission is to change lives through better sight and hearing. We will not solve every problem, but we can play our part. By working directly with service users and the charities and organisations that support them, we hope to play our part in improving access to eye care for all."

As well as various fundraising initiatives, Specsavers is supporting Crisis at Christmas. This campaign helps to raise awareness, improves understanding of the issues that drive homelessness, and provides practical support in the form of eye care clinics in various locations around the UK that people experiencing homelessness can access. 

Specsavers is working with The Big Issue, providing free eyecare and wax removal for its vendors and frontline team. They are in turn helping raise awareness of how good eyesight can help people experiencing homelessness, as are the members of a group of people we are working with who have their own lived experience and can give us more insight into the barriers to healthcare that they have faced. 

Specsavers has also extended its support for Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP), which Specsavers' co-founder Dame Mary Perkins has been a patron of for more than ten years. This includes funding the opening of new eye care clinics around the UK, helping VCHP expand its service beyond England, including clinics in Crisis' new Skylight centres in London and Edinburgh.

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