Improving Eye Care Services for People Affected by Homelessness

Vision Care for Homeless People

Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP) is a small charity currently running professional eye care clinics situated within 10 homeless centres in England and Scotland. The fully equipped eye testing rooms are staffed by nearly 100 volunteer optometrists, dispensing opticians and clinic assistants. The clinics offer eye tests and glasses free of charge.

Specsavers Optical Group Ltd is a British multinational optical retail chain. In the UK, it operates over 1,000 opticians, and also runs domiciliary opticians and audiology services.

VCHP’s partnership with Specsavers is helping the charity to expand to 24 clinics over the next four years. The partnership has developed new opticians and audiology services to improve access to care for vulnerable people, including out of hours opticians and pop-up clinics. Many Specsavers Partners and Colleagues are getting involved and delivering services.

People experiencing homelessness face multiple barriers getting sight tests, glasses and eye care. The partnership combines the voices of a group of people with lived experience of homelessness, together with key homeless charities, Crisis UK, the Big Issue, Simon Community NI and Focus Ireland and partners across the optical industry in a movement making long-overdue improvements to health care for people affected by homelessness.