Old Glasses Appeal
Benenden Hospital and Benenden Health joined forces with BACE to collect second hand glasses – which BACE donated them to the Gambian National Eye Health Programme, who distributed them to needy people in the most impoverished and rural parts of the country in March 2015.
BACE worked with Sarjo Kanyi, Programme Manager with the National Eye Health Programme in The Gambia. Mr Kanyi said: "As a programme we welcome genuine partners and philanthropists who have an interest in our programme and The Gambia at heart."
Tracy Barnett, chair of BACE, said: "Having worked in The Gambia for many years myself and other trustees and volunteers have found that many people go without glasses because they cannot afford to buy them. A pair of reading glasses can be the equivalent to several months salary for some.
Joanne Burgess from Wilson Wilson and Hancock in Tenterden kindly gave up her time to grade and label the glasses.
Benenden's hospital director Jane Abbott said she was pleased to be backing the campaign.
She said: "We have an eye unit here at Benenden Hospital, so we are well aware of how poor vision can affect someone's quality of life. We are very happy to support this charity campaign and hope that our staff and patients will donate, as well as members of the local community."
Benenden Hospital supported the costs of shipping the container for BACE which shipped over 3,000 pairs of glasses. These were distributed in Gambia by the National Eye Health Programme.
The National Eye Health Programme was established in 1986 by the Gambia Government following a national survey of blindness and eye diseases.