Charity To Introduce Child Glasses Voucher Scheme

A Jersey sight loss charity will be trialling a year-long voucher scheme to try and encourage parents to buy new glasses for children under the age of 8.

EYECAN will be paying up to £90 towards the cost of each pair of glasses throughout 2021. 

Parents and carers will be able to get their vouchers by giving their child's JY number to their optician. The registration number will be shared with EYECAN for admin purposes and will not be retained by the charity beyond the end of the year.

"Many children under the age of 8 do need glasses, but sometimes there are financial implications which means that they don't get them or they don't stay up to date with their glasses prescriptions or wearing glasses which are broken.

"It's really important that we can help families as much as possible to provide the best healthcare needs for their children." - Sarah Evans, Senior Orthoptist at the Eye Department.

Between £150,000 and £200,000 has been budgeted for the scheme, which starts in January.

Children are screened at birth for vision problems and then again by orthoptists in Reception Year at school.

The scheme will be reviewed later next year to decide if it will continue into 2022 and beyond.

"The trial for a year is just literally to see what the uptake is like and do the costings on that and maybe if the uptake isn't as high as anticipated, we might be able to extend the age range that we're offering it to.

"We're really hoping it will be something permanent the charity will offer, but just because it's in its infancy and it's not been done before in Jersey we obviously need to do a little bit of research whilst we're undergoing that first year."

The news has been released today to mark World Sight Day.

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