DISCARDED spectacles are getting people talking, thanks to a Lions International scheme.
Money generated by the Eyeglass Recycling project has been handed over to Adur Talking News (ATN), which helps people with sight impairments.
Adur East Lions president Gillian Anderson presented a cheque for £500 to ATN treasurer Cyril Pelluet and chairman Ann Simmons last Wednesday.
She was joined by other Lions, including Cliff Jenkins, the club’s newest member, who is partially-sighted and a member of the Macular Society.
Mrs Simmons said: “At a time when so many organisations are finding that costs are rising and donations decreasing, such a contribution is very welcome.”
Adur East Lions Club has been involved in the recycling scheme for some years. Members collect discarded spectacles from opticians in Shoreham and Southwick, as well as from Mayberry Garden Centre in Portslade, which has a collection bin in the café.
These are sent to Chichester Lions Club, which has been collecting and sorting spectacles for 32 years on behalf of Lions Clubs in the UK.
Lion Susan Saunders said: “The members of the club select items suitable for recycling and transport them to Medico France in Le Havre, where they are cleaned, graded and sent to eye camp projects all over the world run by, or associated with, Lions Clubs International.
“Last year, more than 300,000 pairs of spectacles were sent to France. Any frames not suitable for further use, but which contain small amounts of precious metals, are recycled by Chichester Lions and any money generated is available to Lions Clubs in the UK for sight-related causes.”
Over the last five years, Chichester Lions have donated more than £200,000 from the project. This year, it donated £250 to Adur Talking News, which Adur East Lions matched.
Lion president Gillian Anderson said: “We are grateful to Chichester Lions for agreeing to our request for funds for Adur Talking News and are pleased to match the amount, making a total of £500.”
Adur Talking News records much of the content of the Herald, and other publications, on to CD, then provided the 80-minute disk free on a weekly basis, to enable registered users to stay up-to-date with what is going on in the area.
Four teams of readers take it in turn to record the news, other articles of interest and occasionally interviews.
Ms Saunders said: “The service is completely free – but depends on its team of volunteers and donations to enable it to continue.”
Adur Talking News is based at Adur Civic Centre, Ham Road, Shoreham. Contact Ann Simmons on 01273 453582 for more information or with a request to be added to the distribution list.