Damien's vision raises funds in run

A optical assistant from the Capital competed in the 2017 Great Ethiopian Run in aid of Vision Aid Overseas to raising vital funds for people in developing countries.

Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 7:30 am
Damien Rose took on the worlds highest altitude 10,000m road race

Damien Rose, who warks at the Specsavers branch in Leith, recently took part in the event in Addis Ababa.

It is the world’s highest altitude 10,000 metre road race and participants face a gruelling trek.

It was started in 2001 by Haile Gebreselassie, a retired Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete who set a number of world records throughout his career in distances ranging from the two mile up to the marathon and two Olympic gold medals, both in the 10,000 metres.

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Damien joined 44,000 other runners from around the world to compelte the icnoc race– including 22 colleagues from Specsavers stores across the UK.

Damien raised £2600 with the help of his colelagues at the Leith store, friends, family and generous customers.

The Specsavers UK-wide team – who are still collecting donations – hope to raise £57,000 in total.

The opticians visited a number of Vision Aid Overseas projects in Addis Ababa to see first hand where money that is donated is used and how it transforms lives.

Damien said: “The Great Ethiopian Run was a fantastic experience. It was great fun to participate with the team from Specsavers.

“The money we all raised, and are still raising, will help VAO to change the lives of some of the world’s most marginalised people through the provision of good sight.

“We are proud to support Vision Aid Overseas and have been delighted with the support we have received from locals here in Leith over the years. “We support the charity all year round as people continue to recycle their old and unwanted frames in store which helps fund the work of VAO.

“With such a big fundraising target this year, it was wonderful to see monetary donations and pledges of sponsorship coming in – I had trained hard so that helped a lot.”

The charity has been Specsavers’ international eyecare charity since 2008. To date, the group has raised more than £600,000 for Zambian eyecare including an optometry technologists training course at the Chainama College of Health Sciences in Lusaka, ten staffed vision centres across Zambia and a national eyecare outreach programme.

As well as direct donations and fundraising in stores, Specsavers customers can responsibly dispose of unwanted glasses to any Specsavers store.

VAO then recycles these frames and monies are raised from the sale of precious metals.