These are my glasses. Or rather, they are the glasses that have enabled me to see over the last seven years. I don't know if you have to have a visual impairment to understand the huge emotional attachment one has with ones glasses, but for me each style, colour and prescription clearly tells the story of who I was when I wore them.
I remember choosing them, and I remember losing them. As my new glasses arrived, with their alarmingly stronger prescription, I struggled to come to terms with my new identity. Each time I held on to my old glasses, telling myself that I could wear them occasionally. But of course I never could, because my eyesight had got worse.
I keep them in a lovely brown box that is tied up with a ribbon. Sometimes I get them out and look at them. They really do feel like a part of me that I can never get back. Giving them away feels harder than putting my signature on an organ donation form.
This must surely reflect what they have done for me over the years. They have given me fully functioning working sight, enabling me to read, drive and see the world in all its glory. How selfish of me to keep this gift hidden in a box.
So today I am going to support the wonderful work of Vision Aid Overseas, who collect old glasses (that are dropped off at participating shops) and send them to prisons in the Uk for inmates to polish and pack. The Vision Aid Overseas Team are Opticians who fund themselves for six week overseas work. They take the collected glasses out to the developing world, where they are carefully matched with the right eyes. For the new owner this can mean the difference between working and not working.
Glasses can be dropped off at any Birk and Nagra Pharmacy in Leamington Spa, at Vision Express or Charnleys.