Meet the Eye Heroes
31 January 2020
Around 50 per cent of sight loss in the UK could have been avoided with current treatments. ‘Eye Heroes’ is an innovative campaign that’s tackling this issue.
In the UK, one million people living with sight loss could have avoided it through regular sight tests.
Eye Heroes is aiming to change this. With it’s unique approach to eye health education, it is the UK’s first campaign to tackle avoidable blindness - and it’s led by children!
The Eye Heroes Campaign
Supported by a grant from Moorfields Eye Charity, Eye Heroes aims to empower school age children to look after their eye health and to raise awareness by encouraging family, friends and classmates to go for regular eye checks.
Eye Heros began in 2016 when its three founding members of Eye Heroes (Yusrah, Manjul and Sonia) discovered that training children as eye health champions can translate into attendances for eye tests.
After that, they decided to run interactive workshops with children, using sight loss simulation activities, animation, role-play and games as a way of inspiring them to spread the word in their community, at home and in school.
Each child trained by Eye Heroes volunteers informs on average eight people about the importance of regular sight tests, which produces a ripple effect, spreading critical healthcare information throughout local communities - including vulnerable people not otherwise reached by other communication channels.
It has taken a long time to develop and refine the Eye Heroes concept, but in just a few years over 6,000 school children have benefited from eye health training, and nearly 22,000 people will or have already attended sight tests as a direct result of the campaign.
The fantastic success of this campaign has been widely recognised, and the team have won some high profile awards. Eye Heroes made it onto Nesta’s 2018 ‘New Radicals’ list, which celebrates radical thinking organisations and individuals developing creative ways of tackling society’s biggest challenges, and was also awarded 10 Downing Street’s ‘Points of Light’ award in 2019.
Moorfields Eye Charity and Eye Heroes
We’re delighted to have supported Eye Heroes in rolling out the the project across the UK and demonstrating the impact of the project on every volunteer, each child who attends the training workshops and each adult who has potentially avoided treatable sight loss.
We’re also proud that our support has allowed Eye Heroes to publish their work in an open-access paper and to make their resources available free of charge on eyeheroes.org.uk, so that as many people as possible can benefit from their work.