SpecTrek

This is run annually, normally towards the end of April, by Petersfield Lions Club. Used spectacles are collected from participating Lions clubs at a number of designated pick-up points, including The Lismoyne Hotel in Fleet. They are then passed to Chichester Lions Club for initial sorting prior to optical grading and onward despatch to Third World Countries. Many of these spectacles are given to patients treated at Eye-Camps, which are often sponsored by Lions Clubs.

Fleet Lions Club has participated in SpecTrek for 32 years, and normally sponsors an Eye-Camp each Lion Year. To participate, we collect used spectacles from lions-labelled boxes we have placed in local Opticians and from individual members of the public who pass them on to us. Currently we collect from the following Opticians:

Fleet:

Specsavers            Monthly 
Harwoods               Monthly
Brown & White       bi-Monthly
Leightons               bi-Monthly

Aldershot:

MK Optical Labs   bi-Monthly

The value of these spectacles to those people with impaired sight in Third World Countries cannot be over-emphasised, and participating in SpecTrek must be counted as one of the most worthwhile jobs we undertake.

Spectacles collected in Fleet and Aldershot

April 2010 - April 2011 - 3,400

April 2011 - April 2012 - 3,500

April 2012 - April 2013 - 3,794

April 2013 - April 2014 - 3,869

With spectacles collected from neighbouring Lions clubs, Lions collected a total of 123,000 pairs in April 2014.  What a difference that will make to education in the Third World.

This was the 32nd year of running SpecTrek and the grand total of spectacles collected over that period of time now stands at over 2,500,000 from Lions Clubs in the south of England.

Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to donate their used specs and to the opticians who collected them on our behalf.


LATEST NEWS ON SPECTREK


Congratulations to Petersfield Lions on the latest SpecTrek held yesterday April 19th.


138,148 pairs of spectacles were collected.  In previous years the figure has been around 125,000 so this was  a very good result especially as some opticians are now operating their own schemes for using old specs.  


The running total is now 2,823,150 so can we make it 3 million next year.


Of course, none of this would be possible if Clubs and individual Lions did not collect and store the used specs each year.  Thank you to all who took part this year and if you didn't, why not consider doing so next year?


See the Petersfield Lions website for more information.


World Sight Day/Sharing the Vision Campaign

 

World Sight Day

This is the day when Lions Focus Attention on Preventing Blindness and Improving Sight .  Each year World Sight Day is celebrated worldwide on the second Thursday of October.  Lions Clubs International officially marked Lions World Sight Day in Reykjavik, Iceland on October 14th  2014.  


Lions around the world will mark World Sight Day with a variety of activities during the entire month of October.  Since 1998, Lions World Sight Day, held annually in October, has focused attention on eliminating preventable blindness and improving sight. On World Sight Day, Lions clubs around the world conduct special sight-related projects.  More information can be found by Clicking here  The last few years have seen Lions Clubs all over the Multiple District participate in World Sight Day/ weekend walks.  Some Clubs have been on pub walks and other town or village walks. Many of these have brought local publicity for the Lions Club also in many cases a bringing together of the Lions Club with both local dignitaries and blind or partially persons, all taking part in the walk.


World Sight Day 2009In 2015 Lions Awareness Week will be 5th - 11th October and what a good way to end the week with a sight- related day. Whilst World Sight day will be Thursday 8th October many Clubs prefer to get more people involved by having an event on Saturday 10th October or Sunday 11th October.   When I was District Governor I took part in a blindfolded walk with members of Hart and Fleet Lions Clubs around the shopping centre in Fleet.  I do hope that your Club will participate in the day or weekend and I will be very interested to receive any photographs or descriptions of what your Club has done, preferably by email. 


 Sharing the Vision

 

 Our International president Joe Preston says "Lions have a history of preserving sight. We prevent young people from losing it, we help neighbors who have lost it, and we restore it when possible. I'm encouraging your club to schedule at least one vision-related service project this year, and there's no better time than during our Sharing the Vision Campaign in October. When you share the vision, you can earn special recognition in the Centennial Service Challenge, our international initiative to serve 100 million people. Get the resources you need to Share the Vision, and remember to report your projects through the online Service Activity Report to earn your Centennial recognition!" The resources can be found by Clicking Here


SPEK TREK - EYEGLASS RECYCLING PROJECT 


Lions Clubs International encourage Lions to collect old and unwanted spectacles so that they can be recycled and sent to countries where they are desperately needed. 


In 105D this important event is run by Petersfield Lions Club and I thank them for allowing me to use information from their web site.


Spektrek 2015 will take place on Sunday 19th April.  Watch out for Emails from Petersfield Lions Club for details of how to participate.


"How it all began"


Spec Trek is an Annual event organized by Petersfield Club.  The first Spectrek was in 1982.  Each year the Club collects over 100,000 pairs of unwanted spectacles from Lions Clubs all over the area.  These are then passed on to other Lions Clubs for sorting, grading and onwards transport to the third world.  Over the years nearly 2.5 million pairs of specs have been collected.  It's difficult to buy a pair of specs for less than 100 - you do the maths!   


Like many good ideas Spectrek started with a chat over a beer. In the early 1980's Petersfield Lions Club had collected several thousand pairs of spectacles as part of Lions on going sight campaigns. The problem was that the central storage point was in Weymouth in Dorset. In conversation someone said "Oh, throw them in a wheel barrow and we'll push them there!" (and then went off to get another round in). But that is, indeed, what we did. That first Spectrek, over four days, was largely on foot with a couple of wheel barrows and a van full of specs. The rest , as they say, is history.


Petersfield Lions on Spek Trek Day 2004Today, we need four Transit style vans and a couple of support vehicles to collect specs from around 50 Lions Clubs spread over Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset. The Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands also contribute. These days we deliver our collection to our fellow Lions in Midhurst for onwards transport to Chichester Lions and France for dispatch to the Third World. In the Third World that unwanted pair of glasses can make the difference between supporting a family or starving. Our one day collection brings in over 100 thousand pairs of specs per year. The numbers show no sign of diminishing and we are well on the way to our three millionth pair.


Petersfield Lions are very grateful for the support that they have received locally over the years from businesses who have supplied at little or indeed no charge the very necessary transport. Also, the event could not take place without the wholehearted and good humoured help and hospitality of the Lions of the region.


Spectrek is a hard day out. Handling 100000 pairs of specs two times and driving over two hundred miles is no picnic. But it is extremely rewarding and the proof of the pudding is that it is a Club activity where every Lion turns out if they are able. "  


Assistance with Funding of Sight Related Projects


As a result of their participation in collecting old specs Chichester Lions Club has a fund that can be called on by any Lions Club in the Multiple District (UK) to assist with a sight related activity. The fund has been built up by selling the metal reclaimed from broken and unsuitable frames of spectacles collected in the spectacle collections. All the spectacles collected on our annual Spectrek Day arrive at Chichester for initial sorting.


Over the last 5 years Chichester Lions have made donations in excess of 200,000 from funds generated by this project.   In the year ending June 2013 over 16,500 was donated through other lions clubs.


The sorted spectacles are then sent to Medico France in Le Havre where they are further graded before being sent to third world countries.


The contact at Chichester Lions Club is Lion Sue Boucher who you can contact through their website www.chilions.org.uk.


SIGHT SAVERS


LIONS AND SIGHT SAVERS


Lions and Sightsavers began working together in the 1970s. Lions Sight Savers is a registered charity which donates on average 80,000 a year to Sightsavers work in India. Clubs support the Comprehensive Eye Services (CES) Programme which provides integrated services of eye care, education and rehabilitation across various communities.


EYE CAMP PROGRAMME


This original programme grew out of the Lions Sight Savers Eye Camp programme, which started over 30 years ago. In that time a very large number of people have had their problems identified and their sight restored. Originally cataract operations were carried out in the back of Land Rovers or under canvas, but thankfully with time conditions have improved and now those requiring treatment are taken to hospitals (some of which were built with Campaign SightFirst funds) for improved treatment.


Unfortunately not all those arriving at an eye camp could be treated. Some were incurably blind, or might have a condition that a cataract operation would not help.


 COMPREHENSIVE EYE SERVICES (CES)


The CES programme is able to offer something to everyone with a sight related problem. A blind person is directed to rehabilitation or training, a blind child will be helped to be integrated into school and all other eye problems are dealt with appropriately through health education, treatment or surgery.


A Lions Club's donation now buys a share in integrated services of eye care, education and rehabilitation. Reports are issued to Clubs that donate 250 or more. The report identifies which CES project their money has gone to and gives an update on the previous twelve months activities. The report includes a map identifying the area of the country where the Comprehensive Eye Services are being provided.


For more information about Lions and Sightsavers contact lions@sightsavers.org


Sight Savers latest newsletter gives details of its work in Bangadesh from 2014 to 2017. I include some extracts below: 


Blindness is a serious public health problem in Bangladesh. Cataract continues to be the leading cause of blindness, being responsible for 80 per cent of cases. People living in poverty are particularly vulnerable to the impact of blindness, yet only a small proportion access treatment for the condition due to a lack of awareness about eye conditions, inadequate eye care in rural areas, and the high costs frequently involved.


Sightsavers District Eye Care programme aims to increase access to affordable, comprehensive eye care for those living in rural districts within three of the seven divisions of Bangladesh: Khulna, Rajshahi and Rangpur.


Over the next three years, our work in Bangladesh will form a key part of Sightsavers new Million Miracles fundraising appeal. This appeal aims to restore the sight of one million people, by raising 30 million globally. The majority of the sight-saving operations will be performed in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. Please, please help Sight Savers to carry out this important work by making a contribution to them through our District Treasurer.

 

KORLE BU


This is the Lions International Eye Centre that is being established by joint funding by Lions in MD105, LCIF and Moorfields Eye Hospital in Korle Bu, Ghana.  It will not only provide eye care in an area that currently has very poor resources in this area but will be a teaching hospital for all of West Africa.


It is hoped the hospital building will be completed in Spring 2015.  Fitting out will take eight weeks.  Whilst the building and initial equipment funding are paid for, help is still needed to buy further equipment, sponsor trainees and fund poorer patients.