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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Ballymena opticians supports charity book that will raise funds for eye care in Kenya

A book of poems that has been authored by local woman Jill Holmes will raise money for Friends of Vispa, the local Christian charity which is run by Ahoghill couple, Colin and Gillian Hayburn.


The book has been funded by Specsavers Ballymena, with the business’ generous donation allowing Jill to print 500 copies, and will be sold for a donation that goes directly to Friends of Vispa, with some of the funds being used to pay for cataract or glaucoma operations that patients of an eye clinic in Kenya are in desperate need of.


Andrew Lowry, Director at Specsavers Ballymena explained:

“Jill is a former team member of ours at Specsavers Ballymena, and she generously volunteers her time and expertise to those who Friends of Vispa help in Kenya.

"Jill has volunteered in the eye clinic several times, and takes old frames we collect in-store for her to help patients there, while also ensuring people get eye tests and the treatment they need.”


Alongside the eye clinic, the charity also funds building projects, bible classes, arts and crafts, singing and drama classes.


Andrew added:

“I'm really grateful to Specsavers Ballymena who have been so supportive of me in every way possible. The team collect old unwanted specs for me all year round, and then allow me to pop into store to use their focimeter on a regular basis so that I can sort and prepare those specs for taking with me to Kenya.


“Each year, they also lend me tools and a frame heater to take with me to Kenya, and as if that wasn’t enough, now they have covered the cost of all 500 books so that every penny raised goes directly to charity. It is such a fantastic support which I, and everyone involved in this work, is incredibly grateful for.” 


Jill’s book of poetry is available for a £5 donation and can be purchased by emailing


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