Paul’s work with Belfast homeless recognised

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A Chesterfield born and bred optometrist has been recognised for his work helping the homeless by being named the Association of Optometrists’ Charity of the Year.

Paul Wright, 41, originally from Somersall, and his wife, Sarah, run a weekly clinic eye clinic for the less fortunate in Belfast completely voluntarily.

Patients are a mix of asylum seekers and local homeless people - many of whom have had glasses in the past and lost them but cannot afford to have them replaced.

See Belfast treats people who have dropped through the net and helps them back into the system, often referring them onto other services.

Paul said; “We were fairly shocked to be nominated for the awards and is a nice feeling.

“There was a need out there that was not being met and the research shows people who are homeless tend to neglect their health.”

The charity was established in September 2015 and by the time of its first anniversary had seen 158 patients.

Paul and Sarah raise money to pay for See Belfast’s services by organising fund-raising events, including coffee mornings, open nights and fun runs.

For more information visit www.aop.org.uk/education-and-events/aop-awards/2017/charity-of-the-year.