Villa Vision provides over 2,000 inner-city children with the tools to improve educational prospectsMarch 4, 20222 min read
Villa Vision, an innovative collaboration between Aston University, the Aston Villa Foundation and optical lens supplier Essilor Vision For Life is celebrating the end of its second year having engaged with around 4,500 individuals to raise awareness around the importance of eye health and equip inner-city children with the tools to learn in order to enhance their educational experience and help with their longer-term prospects.
Launched in 2020 and delivered by the Aston Villa Foundation, the initiative was the first of its kind in the UK and sought to deliver a programme of eye-health awareness lessons in the classroom, free vision and colour vision screening, followed by a more comprehensive eye test and free glasses to those children who require them, using a fully operational custom-designed mobile eye care unit.
With the successful completion of Villa Vision’s second Autumn Term in December, a challenging yet successful year means that the project has now benefited schoolchildren in many local inner-city schools, including:
- Over 2,200 children receiving the Villa Vision workshop across 30 schools
- Almost 1,800 children having a vision and colour vision screening check in local primary schools
- Approximately 280 children (around 16%) being flagged for further investigation
- Around 100 fully comprehensive eye tests being conducted at schools using the Villa Vision eyecare van
- Nearly 120 pairs of glasses being provided to children requiring them, helping to support both their educational and social development.
Nikhil Sonpal, Villa Vision Project Manager and optometrist at Aston Villa Foundation, said: “The Villa Vision team is extremely proud to have directly reached several thousand local children in supporting their visual health and eye care knowledge through the Foundation’s established network of local primary schools and community organisations.”
Leon Davies, professor of optometry and physiological optics in the School of Optometry at Aston University and Vice President of the College of Optometrists said: “We are delighted to see the results that our clinical and research expertise in evidence-based eye care is providing our local community.
“The provision of free eye care and raising awareness of the importance of eye health is vital in increasing the long-term prospects of schoolchildren and I am looking forward to future developments of the project in 2022.”
Funded by the Premier League, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and Aston University and delivered by the Aston Villa Foundation, the project is designed to fill a crucial lack of knowledge surrounding the importance of having an eye test and how preventative measures can ensure, among a host of benefits, a lifetime of good vision.
Leon Davies Head of School
His research is focused on presbyopia and the restoration of ocular accommodation to the ageing eye.