Spectacle and Hearing Aid Recycling

Lions recycle for sight

Lions Clubs have been collecting and sorting used spectacles since 1980. It all began with specs collected by the Chichester Lions with an initial delivery of 700 sorted specs to the Missionary Optical Society in Devon for use in their clinics in Kenya and India. Other Lions Clubs started feeding their collections to Chichester and over the next four years some 50,000 specs were sent to M.O.S. in Devon.


In 1985 they linked up with the Le Havre Lions and Medico France and over the following five years some 100,000 specs, 43,000 lenses, and 10,000 frames were sent to Medico France while still delivering to M.O.S. as many pairs of sorted specs as they needed. In 1988, another outlet was established through Vision Aid Overseas, and in 1990 Boots the Chemist and Help The Aged joined us in a national campaign which produced 460,000 pairs of specs in six months.


Once sorted they went to places such as Cameroon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, India, Zanzibar, Jamaica, Bolivia and Brazil. All that took more resources than the Club could sensibly provide.

Lions RECYCLE for sight

Today Chichester Lions are receiving used spectacles from Lions clubs throughout the UK, as well as from opticians and supermarkets in Chichester. Spectacles are delivered to Chichester Lions Club in boxes and bags of all shapes and sizes and are processed by their club members and other volunteers in their workshop.


They use their considerable experience to select the items that are suitable for recycling and to sort them in preparation for onward transmission to Medico France in Le Havre. Medico France have the necessary equipment to clean and grade the spectacles ready for use in eye camps in Africa and India. Last year over 500,000 pairs of spectacles were sent to Medico France.


Through Chichester the UK lions clubs provide more than 50% of the spectacles processed by Medico France – more than any other national group including France itself.


A similar type of scheme involving used hearing aids is now operating as there is a great need in many third world countries for both spectacles and hearing aids. As a result, the collection bins in opticians can be used for hearing aids as well.

Collection bins

Bin collections are made by NPS club members at regular intervals and the contents packed and despatched to a Chichester Lions Club from the following sites:


Specsavers Broad Street Seaford

Barraclough and Stiles Dane Road Seaford

Lunn & Sones, 15 Meridian Centre Peacehaven

Ingram & Schofield, 224 South Coast Road Peacehaven