Lost in a sea of specs

IT would hardly seem possible that a man with more than 300 pairs of spectacles would not be able to see.

But that is what happened to Alan Curtis from Braunton.

A member of the Barnstaple Link Rotary Club, he is on the international committee that makes regular collections of glasses from health centres, opticians and members of the general public, which are then repaired, refurbished and sent all over the world to help less fortunate people to see.

Alan had just collected a huge box of glasses to sort out, but his own glasses fell off into the box, leaving Alan unable to see.

He said: “I am blind as a bat without them, but I thought they are bound to be on the top. No such luck. It took absolutely ages trying on each pair before, at last, I found them. I couldn’t believe it. I had felt them sliding off my nose, but was too late to catch them.”

For years Rotary clubs have collected glasses and have sent millions overseas. They work in unison with Specsavers and other organisations to collect and deliver the glasses in the first instance to prisoners, who repair and polish the lenses before they are collected and sent abroad.

“There seems to be a never-ending need for more,” said Alan, who is hoping that members of the public will help by dropping off unwanted glasses to the Rotary Charity Shop in Boutport Street, Barnstaple.

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