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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Clinic supporting vision care for Edinburgh’s homeless to open


The centre is the first of its kind in Scotland. 

Scotland’s first Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP) clinic has been launched. 

The charity joined Specsavers and homelessness charity Crisis to celebrate the opening at Crisis Skylight, on Canongate in Edinburgh.  

It will support those experiencing homelessness in Edinburgh and Lothian, with one in three people who are homeless experience eye health issues.  

The launch event saw representatives from VCHP, Crisis and Specsavers join other stakeholders for a tour and a celebratory cake cutting.  

The clinic is funded by Specsavers and is comprised of two rooms on a dedicated ‘Wellness Floor’ at Crisis Skylight.  

It will open its doors in July, with one clinic per week initially, to be held on Mondays.  

The consulting and dispensing rooms are for sole use by VCHP, meaning there will be capacity to increase the number of clinics based on need if required.  

The consulting room houses optical equipment that has been provided by Specsavers.  

VCHP chief executive, Hannah Telfer, said: “The expansion into Scotland was a bit of a no-brainer. 

“It’s important for us to broaden our reach. Although Scotland’s General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) regulations are different to those in England, we still feel there’s a need for the care that we will deliver. It will be really interesting for us to learn quite quickly what that looks like, and how different to England it is.

“Having met people here tonight, they are so grateful for us bringing the service to Edinburgh.

“All our collaborations are absolutely key. We need Crisis to be supporting and encouraging their members to be spreading the message about access to eye care.

“We often find that referral agencies haven’t even considered eye care. So, that education in eye care is really important in getting them to refer into us.”  

Crisis, which has ongoing collaborations with both Specsavers and VCHP, moved into its Canongate building in 2023.  

Edinburgh is VCHP’s 10th clinic, and a continuation of the charity’s aim to expand to 24 clinics within the next five years.  



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James Devine
14 days ago


All members at Doors Academy SCIO extend our thanks and appreciation to all stakeholders in this awesome facility you have launched at VCHP.

The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.

God bless.