Optometrist Gillian Bruce to compete in Great Ethiopian Run for Vision Aid Overseas

Optometrist Gillian Bruce to compete in Great Ethiopian Run for Vision Aid Overseas

Posted on 20th August 2015

Gillian shares her motivations for competing for this invaluable charity

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Running is a wonderful sport. It requires little more than a pair of trainers and some get up and go. The World Athletic Championships will start later this month and when everyone lines up at the start line, what will inspire me, is the idea that no matter where they are from, or how wealthy they are, they are all on an equal playing field.

Sadly this equality is not present in all areas of life, in particular when it comes to health care. Thankfully charities like Vision Aid Overseas are helping to address the issue of inequality in eye care. I have been involved with the charity since I qualified as an optometrist and have been able to see first hand, the results of the great work they do. The charity is dedicated to transforming access to eye care in developing countries. They utilise optometry volunteers from the UK to provide eye examinations in health centres and rural settings. Latterly they have also been heavily involved in training local people in VAO health centres with the aim of eventually seeing the countries reach self-sufficiency.


The need for the charity is great with around 670 million people, 10% of the world’s population, disadvantaged by poor vision due to a lack of spectacles. That means 670 million people with healthy eyes, do not see, simply because they don’t have spectacles. If you wear spectacles you will appreciate just how challenging your day would be without them. Imagine the educational, occupational and social disadvantage that people with similar prescriptions face.
I have undertaken a number of sporting challenges before, ranging from endurance events such as Tough Mudder to the London Marathon. In November I will take on a new challenge: The Ethiopian Great Run, running at altitude in the highest city in Africa. A challenge I am taking on to raise essential funds for those in need of basic eye care.

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I have quite a substantial sponsorship target to reach and I would be thrilled with any donations people can afford to give. Thank you!

You can donate to Gillian by visiting her Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/Gillian-Bruce1

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