Specsavers is passionate about giving back to and working with its local communities, wherever in the world it operates, and in the last 12 months, the business donated more than £2.5 million (AUD$4.4 million) to charities and good causes globally.

Specsavers stores provide employment for more than 32,400 local people, all of whom have access to regular training and development, helping them to progress through the business on their chosen career path. The same is true for the 4,600 people who are employed in Specsavers support offices and manufacturing and distribution sites around the world.

Specsavers also supports many local, national and international causes, and is committed to supporting eye care and hearing care projects in developing countries. Across all its markets, the business is involved in a vast number of activities to raise money for local, regional and national charities.

Some of the highlights for Australia and New Zealand from 2018-19 are as follows:

  • Specsavers Australia & New Zealand’s Community Program celebrated its fifth anniversary. This initiative now sees 89% of Specsavers stores across Australia and New Zealand donating 20 cents from every pair of glasses sold to charity. As a result, 211 local charities, including the Taronga Conservation Society and Surf Lifesaving South Australia, received a total of AUD$505,000, while AUD$432,000 was raised for Specsavers’ national charity partner, The Fred Hollows Foundation.
  • Specsavers embarked on a new partnership with Lions Recycle for Sight, enabling customers to donate their pre-loved ophthalmic frames and prescription sunglasses to a worthy cause. Once collected, the glasses are checked, cleaned and categorised by the charity. If the glasses pass the quality control tests, they are delivered and dispensed to people in need through a number of partnering humanitarian organisations. Specsavers also helped to provide funding for new quality-testing equipment and glasses storage.
  • For the first time this year, Specsavers ran a fundraising campaign using social media during which AUD$1 was donated for every customer who posted a ‘specs-selfie’ to #LoveGlasses, raising a further AUD$29,900 for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
  • During World Glaucoma Week, Specsavers raised AUD$10,000 for Glaucoma Australia, with donations going towards supporting the detection of, diagnosis of and research into the eye disease.
  • Specsavers continued to support outreach programs by sponsoring some of its optometrists to assist with intensive training schemes in remote locations. At the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji, Specsavers optometrists helped students working towards their Postgraduate Diploma in Eyecare, worked with nurses to carry out much-needed sight tests, and distributed glasses to hundreds of locals in need.
  • Fundraising activities at 20 stores across New South Wales helped to fund 30 operations using a state-of-the-art surgical robot. Over the past five years, the stores have raised a total of AUD$120,000, which has been donated to the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney, a not-for-profit, independent centre specialising in advanced treatment and research for patients suffering from rare and complex cancer cases.

In 2019-20, Specsavers Aus / NZ plans to:

  • Develop a new strategy and approach for its Community Program to include establishing an advisory committee and steering group
  • Organise four outreach opportunities for its optometrists and graduate optometrists
  • Continue its collaboration with Lions Club International to collect and re-use pre-loved ophthalmic glasses and prescription sunglasses
  • Raise funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation by selling two limited-edition frames designed by renowned Aboriginal artist and Gumatj leader Peter Datjing Burarrwanga in Australia, and iconic artist Dick Frizzell in New Zealand
  • Continue to donate paediatric glasses to the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji
  • Provide ongoing support to the Lions Outback Vision Van and the Mobile Eye Clinic in Fiji in association with The Fred Hollows Foundation.

To find out more about how Specsavers has supported local communities globally over the last year, read the Specsavers Annual Review 2018-2019.