Beacon launches optometry service

The region’s leading sight loss charity has launched a new social enterprise optometry service.

Beacon Opticians+ offers a full NHS eye testing and spectacle dispensing service in state-of-the-art facilities within the charity’s Sedgley headquarters. Notable entrepreneur Stephen Fear performed the formal opening of the centre.

The move marks a significant step in the development of Beacon’s wide range of support for people across the West Midlands.

Arwyn Jones, chief executive of Beacon said: “Opening an optometry practice was an obvious extension to our already comprehensive eye health services.

“This is a fully-functional opticians, providing exactly the same service as high street businesses, and is open to everyone, with the added benefit that all income from the practice supports our services in the community and further eye health campaigns.

“To the best of our knowledge this is the first-ever opticians in the UK trading as a social enterprise, returning its profits back to charity.

“Beacon Opticians+ is also able to offer specialist testing of people with sight loss conditions, dementia or learning difficulties, in an environment specifically adapted for those with these needs. Social Enterprises are businesses with a clear social and/or environmental benefit and Beacon has already been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of the valuable impact of our activities.”

In addition to eye tests, Beacon Opticians+ stocks a range of new spectacle frames and sunglasses.

The service is open five days a week (Monday 9-5; Wednesday 9-5; Thursday 1-8; Friday 9-5; Saturday 9-3) and appointments can be booked by emailing optom1@beaconvision.org or calling 01902 886794.

Arwyn added: “As a charity we regularly receive donations of spectacles. Historically these have been recycled to help fund our services but now we can able to offer pre-loved designer frames through the optometry service, further supporting our sustainability goals.”

Beacon offers a full range of facilities and support to visually impaired people across the West Midlands, including a mix of residential, day care and community services.

More than 3,000 people in the community receive support from a team of dedicated outreach workers and social groups can meet at the Sedgley centre to participate in a range of arts, crafts, music, mobility & fitness, gardening and IT sessions. We also work with technology developers to help them bring new and exciting products to market that can better support independent living with sight loss.

The charity also operates a range of charity shops across the West Midlands, which deliver much-needed funds through sales of quality donated items and a selection of new goods, and in Halesowen incorporates a coffee shop where you can relax and enjoy some refreshments.

To find out more visit www.beaconvision.org

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