War charity event has specs appeal

This Is Wiltshire: Debbie Fairfoull, Sophie Jones and Sarah Spratley fundraising at Specsavers for Blind Veterans. Picture: THOMAS KELSEY Buy this photo Debbie Fairfoull, Sophie Jones and Sarah Spratley fundraising at Specsavers for Blind Veterans. Picture: THOMAS KELSEY

SPECSAVERS staff marked the forthcoming First World War centenary with a fundraising day at their town centre store yesterday.

The event, running as part of the national Armed Forces Week, was in aid of charity Blind Veterans UK, supporting the organisation’s No One Alone campaign. The store aimed to raise awareness of visually-impaired veterans and the support available to them.

Customers could buy homemade cakes and poppy seeds to support the campaign, while £1 from every sight test went to the total being given to Blind Veterans UK.

Debbie Fairfoull, who works at the store, dressed as a First World War nurse, said: “It has gone really well and we’ve had a lot of people coming and donating. I think given the significance of this year being 100 years since the start of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D-Day the public are more aware of supporting events like these.”

There were also games that customers could take part in which helped raise the total.

Staff also held their own cake sale and there was a collection of the shop’s employees’ baby pictures with colleagues being challenged to put the right name to the face.

The total amount that the Regent Street store made is still being tallied.

Store director David Grieves said: “Wiltshire has a strong link to the forces and we thought it was important for us to show our support.”

Blind Veterans UK launched the No One Alone campaign in October 2012.

It wants to support all ex-servicemen who suffer from sight loss as well as make those who could benefit from the organisation aware of their existence.

Store manager Frazer Ince said: “One of the important objects of today is to raise funds but I also think it is equally as important to increase the awareness of Blind Veterans UK and the good work that they do. I’d like to thank our customers and staff for their support.”

Armed Forces Day will be marked at The Lawn Family Day taking place between 10am and 4pm on Saturday. The event is part of the Old Town Festival which kicks off on Friday.

To make a donation call Specsavers on 01793 617858 or to find out more about the charity visit www.blindveterans.org.uk

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