To mark World Sight Day 2021, The Countess of Wessex visited Perseid School in London to see the pupils receive an eye test from the charity, SeeAbility. Sophie is an ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
During the visit, The Countess of Wessex heard how SeeAbility carried out research which found that half of children in special education needs schools have a problem with their vision, with 44% of them having no previous eye care history.
Sophie visited Perseid School where children and young people aged 3-19, who have special educational needs and learning disabilities are educated.
The Countess has become enthusiastic about the vital service to test eyes and dispense glasses to pupils in special schools across England.
Speaking about the work carried out by IAPB and Vision 2020, The Countess of Wessex said: “The key thing I have learnt with all my work from Vision 2020 and IAPB is that the vision sector has really come together over the years, especially for World Sight Day.
“What is really inspiring to see, is that best practices are so easily shared through IAPB. These best practices can hopefully influence everything else and improve the lives of millions around the world who have poor vision.”
As such, Sophie has shown her support for the #LoveYourEyes campaign which encourages everyone of all ages to think about the importance of their own eye health.
Lisa Hopkins, CEO of SeeAbility said: “We’re thrilled that The Countess of Wessex is helping raise awareness of the importance of eye tests by visiting Perseid School to witness SeeAbility’s eye care team carrying out eye tests on the children. The IAPB’s important campaign is highlighting the fact that globally, eye health has reached a new low during the pandemic.”
To mark last year’s World Sight Day, Sophie and The Queen held a joint call with the IAPB and eye health professionals from around the world.
The Countess of Wessex has a long-term passion for working with and promoting the work of charities who help the visually impaired. Both she and Prince Edward visited the Guide Dogs centre at Forfar in Scotland in 2019, shortly after they became The Earl and Countess of Forfar to mark Edward’s birthday.
Sophie is also Patron of the Vision Foundation, where she sat for a sculptural portrait, which was live-streamed! The sculpture aims to provide an opportunity for the blind and visually impaired to get the know the Countess’ likeness.