We are proud to reveal we have been working behind the scenes on a new pilot project to greater enhance children’s health, education and wellbeing through a new partnership with Dresden Optics.
When our CEO, Michelle Crawford, was informed by a colleague about a pilot mobile optometry workshop on wheels she made contact without delay. Within a matter of weeks, Michelle and the Dresden team were sitting together in the colourful optics store constructing a plan on how they could provide greater support for low-income families in our community.
“I noticed incredible synergy between Dresden Optics and Concern Australia, as we both shared a mission to enhance the quality of life of young people, children and their families who experience disadvantage,” shared Michelle.
As a result, Dresden provided a mobile screen-testing service with a group of their friendly professional optometrists to the Collingwood Neighbourhood House where children attend our LiveWires program.
Fifteen children were selected to be part of the initial Vision Screening project that would indicate whether children had any potential presence of a vision problem. From this, 50% of children were identified as needing a more comprehensive eye examination at their local store.
Parents were grateful to hear we would be driving their son and/or daughter up to the local optometry store on their behalf. “I didn’t even know that there was an optics store in Collingwood,” shared one mother when we told her Dresden’s location on Smith St. “I can’t even remember when he was last tested, I think it was when he first started primary school,” shared another mother of a Grade 6 student.
The first two participants to venture to their local Dresden Store in Collingwood, were Neveah and Jaymee, both 7 years old. When they stepped foot in the store they were amazed by the rainbow of colourful glasses on offer.
For Neveah, further testing confirmed that her eye sight is sufficient for now, however for Jaymee, it was clear that she was in need of getting glasses.
We took Jaymee around the store looking at different colours, and mixing and matching a few to suit her taste and style. After trying lots of different colours on, Jaymee came back to the pair that she initially chose!
Jaymee ended up selecting a cute pair of brown prescription glasses, and within a matter of 15 minutes she was walking out the store with glasses to fit her smiling face.
Back at LiveWires, children rushed around her and said how cool the glasses looked. When her Father came to pick her up that afternoon he was amazed at how quickly she had received the glasses. “Oh wow! She received them already? Thank you, thank you, thank you! My wife will be stoked to hear the news,” said Shane.
And he was right! The family was thrilled and humbled from the news of Jaymee being able to access glasses and see more clearly. “This will help her learning, we cannot thank you enough,” said her mother. “She has refused to take them off ever since she received them.”
Their oldest daughter had experienced poor eye sight, however refused to wear her glasses due to their appearance. Shane stated, “We are hoping that with Jaymee’s new excitement for her stylish glasses will encourage her sister to wear hers too!”
This is only the beginning of what we already know to be a successful project – giving families access to quality optics and eyewear that will enhance not only their vision and health, but also their access to tools that will support their education, independence and employment in the future.
You may be wondering what’s so unique about Dresden’s approach to Optometry? Dresden makes high quality, sustainable and playful glasses manufactured here in Australia so every Australian has the opportunity to see clearly and increase their quality of life. What is great is that these glasses are durable, recyclable, and beautifully designed from upcycled waste materials – making a positive impact on the environment and the people living within it!
As part of our 2020VISION we were reminded in Proverbs 29:18, “where there is no vision, the people perish” and so we are excited to help others thrive by giving children and young people access to 20/20 vision that will enhance their future endeavours and dreams.