AN OPTICIAN has received national recognition for the outstanding work he has done overseas, helping people in developing countries to see.

Dr Chris Davey, of Sutton-in-Craven, is an optician at Skipton’s Benjamin Opticians and a lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Bradford.

He has devoted his spare time, through Vision Aid Overseas, to helping others to see and by providing sight tests in Ghana and Zambia to those previously unable to receive a test or treatment.

Vision Aid Overseas is a charitable organisation which believes that no one should live in poverty because of poor eyesight and that no one should live with poor eyesight because of poverty.

Dr Davey said: “In developing countries there are so many people who need glasses in order to work, but there are hardly any opticians! I have loved working with the students and patients in Ghana to help in a small way to address this issue.

“The progress they have made in just a few years is immense.”

Dr Davey has received the Trustees’ Recognition Award, given to those who have made outstanding contributions and commitment to Vision Aid Overseas’ mission and vision.

In a bid to strengthen local health systems in these developing countries, Vision Aid Overseas is ramping up its service by partnering with universities and colleges to train optometrists and optical technicians.

Dr Davey has been working with the University of Cape Coast in Ghana to trial new training materials for university students

He said: “Since 2015 I’ve worked in Ghana and Zambia; in the past it’s been to do eye tests and teach students, this year I went to Ghana to help develop new teaching resources that can be used across all the countries VAO are active in.”

Vision Aid Overseas was founded in 1985 and since then has been developing sustainable eyecare services in some of the world’s poorest communities. The charity provides accessible eye care services in Zambia, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Burkina Faso.