The team from across the UK have so far raised over £58,000 to support Vision Aid Overseas’ eye care programmes across Africa.


On Sunday 26th November 2017, twenty colleagues from Specsavers Opticians and two colleagues from Vision Aid Overseas completed the 2017 Great Ethiopian Run to raise funds for charity Vision Aid Overseas (VAO). The event that was started in 2001 by former athlete and current president of the athletics federation, Haile Gebrselassie saw more than 44,000 runners worldwide tackle the world’s highest altitude 10km road race in Addis Ababa.

Bicester store director Sarah Marshall said: ‘I completed the run in just over an hour. It was hot, hilly and due to the altitude, I felt like I couldn’t breathe for half of the run. But when you run with over 44,000 people, with many more watching, it turned into an amazing experience. A really big well done to the other 21 Specsavers colleagues that I ran with.’



The team had individual fundraising targets of £2,600, with the first £1,000 raised per runner sponsored by Specsavers UK. So far, the 22 runners have raised over £58,000 to support Vision Aid Overseas’ eye care programmes across Africa with more donations yet to come in.

Vision Aid Overseas Director of Fundraising & Communications, Andy Holliday, said: “The Great Ethiopian Run was a fantastic experience for all of us who took part. The Specsavers Team were so enthusiastic and such great fun to be with and the money they all raised, and are still raising, will help VAO to change the lives of some of the worlds most marginalised people through the provision of good sight.  Many thanks again to all who took part and to all their sponsors!”


Since 2008, Vision Aid Overseas has been Specsavers’ chosen international eye care charity for 9 years; raising over £600,000 to support their eye care programme in Zambia. This support has included the development of an optometry technologists training course at the Chainama College of Health Sciences in Lusaka, establishment of staffed Vision Centres in each of the 10 provinces across Zambia and a national eye care outreach programme to reach the more isolated communities, so that no one is left behind.


To find out more about how you can support the work of Vision Aid Overseas, click here