Vision Aid

Vision Aid

A number of years back Jane Wylie-Roberts, owner of Stafffinders, ran a highly sucessful campaign that involved collecting tens of thousands of old spectacles and redistributing these to various countries in Africa including Ethiopia, Malawi and Zambia.


GlassesWe are restarting this campaign to help Vision Aid. Below you will find some information on Vision Aid together with a list of locations where you can hand in spectacles.



What not to include

All spectacles in good condition are potentially useful but not:


 Spectacle cases (too heavy to send overseas).


 Loose lenses.



£3 donation

Please note that it costs £3 to be able to distribute a set of spectacles to the right person in another country, so please consider giving a small donation when you hand in your spectacles so we can help ensure that they do reach the right people.

You can donate at

Vision Aid Overseas

The work of Vision Aid Overseas began in 1985 when a group of optometrists and dispensing opticians decided to do something about the appalling lack of eyecare in the developing world. They each took 2 weeks out of their practices to establish clinics in Tanzania where they tested the eyes of local people and dispensed second-hand spectacles collected in UK. They were overwhelmed by the reception of their patients and had no doubt that they were making dramatic improvements to their lives. There was a groundswell of support from the UK public and more volunteers came forward before the group became a registered charity in 1987 under the name Vision Aid Overseas.

Direct Service Projects

The work of Vision Aid Overseas was founded on the delivery of direct service that gave optical volunteers the opportunity to examine and help patients in some of the poorest parts of the world. Since registering as a charity, Vision Aid Overseas has operated hundreds of direct service clinics in 23 countries and tested the eyes of over 600,000 patients, helping over 350,000 people to see with a pair of spectacles.

Sustainable Projects

AfricaThe work of Vision Aid Overseas has developed since 1985 and today it runs sustainable projects in five target countries: Ethiopia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia. Vision Aid Overseas is helping these countries to help themselves by training local people in eye testing skills and by creating workshops so they can make their own spectacles.


Current Locations

Click to find a Vision Aid Overseas box near you.


  • Stafffinders, 6 New Street, Paisley, PA1 1XY (9am til 5pm weekdays)
  • St Mary's Catholic Church, 163, George St, Paisley, Renfrewshire PA1 2UN
  • Renfrewshire Chamber, Bute Court, St Andrews Drive, Glasgow Airport, Paisley, PA3 2SW
  • St Columbas School, Duchal Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4AU
  • Central Baptist Church, 14 Lady Lane, Paisley, PA1 2LJ
  • St Catherine's Primary School, Brabloch Crescent, Paisley, PA3 4RG
  • Miller McClure Opticians, 24 Glasgow Rd, Paisley, PA1 3QH 
  • Orchard Grove Nursery, 12 Orchard Street, Paisley, PA1 1UZ


  • Glasgow Academy, Colebrook St, Glasgow, G12 8HE
  • Azzuri Communications, 2 Redwood Crescent, Peel Park Campus, East Kilbride, Glasgow, G74 5PA
  • Kelvin Hall, Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8AW
  • Budhill Family Learning  Centre, Hallhill Road, Springboig, Glasgow, G32 0PR


  • Stafffinders, Top Floor, 16 Walker Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7LP (9am til 5pm weekdays)
  • Mercurytide, 3 Queen Charlotte Lane, Edinburgh, EH6 6AY (9am til 5pm weekdays)


  • Shelter Shop, 52 Newmarket Street, Ayr, KA7 1LR
  • Age Concern, 5 Crown Street, Ayr, KA8 8BY
  • The Ayrshire Hospice Shop, 1-3 High Glencairn Street, Kilmarnock, KA1 4AE
  • Hurlford Primary School, Union Street, Hurlford, KA1 5BT
  • Flowerbank Day Nursery, 39 Portland Road, Kilmarnock, KA1 2DJ

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