Pubs urge punters to dig out sunglasses for Shade Aid

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DURHAM pubs are calling on punters to put poverty in the shade.

The Boathouse and Klute, both on Elvet Bridge, are urging people to dig out and donate their old sunglasses.

They’ve teamed up to support Shade Aid, a new charity initiative fighting preventable blindness through recycling and re-gifting unwanted sunglasses.

The best pairs will be distributed by Vision Aid Overseas and Build Africa to people in Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia and Malawi.

Sunglasses cost as much as a year’s salary in developing countries, so they are simply unobtainable for the average person.

Any sub-standard specs will be recycled to raise money for the two beneficiary charities’ preventable blindness projects.

Andrew Golding, general manager at Klute and The Boathouse said: “Last summer our Bra Bank campaign collected thousands of bras and we’re hoping to recreate the same success with sunglasses. We hope everyone gets behind our Shade Aid campaign.”

Lucy Jenkins, communications manager for Vision Aid Overseas, said: “Ocular sun damage is a serious health issue in Africa. In fact, by the time the average child is 18, they will have absorbed 80 per cent of their lifetime exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

“Extended UV exposure has been linked to cataracts and macular degeneration as well as other serious eye disorders which can cause loss of vision.

“But here in the UK we regularly change our sunglasses without really thinking about how important they are. People in excessively sunny places like Africa need proper eye protection but sadly, often do not have the access to eye care services and some will go their entire life without seeing an eye health professional.”

l To donate your sunglasses either drop them off at Klute or The Boathouse – or pop them in the post any time before August 1. Klute is located on Elvet Bridge, Durham DH1 3AF. The Boathouse address is Elvet Riverside, Durham, DH1 3AF

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