GILES and I have been a team for nearly 39 years and over this time, we firmly believe that working together is much more constructive than working apart.

This philosophy is also the reason I am a long-term supporter of international eye care charity Orbis. They tackle preventable and treatable blindness worldwide as a team, from their staff on the ground – and in the air: they have an incredible Flying Eye Hospital! - to their world-leading medical volunteers who provide their expertise for free.

In many parts of the world, avoidable sight loss means children are dropping out of school because they can’t see the blackboard or their textbooks. A staggering ninety percent of blind children in developing countries do not attend school, denying them of a future full of possibilities.

It doesn’t have to be this way: with a simple eye exam and a pair of glasses, or a straightforward surgery, a child’s life can be transformed. Children can return to school, play with their friends and contribute to society, breaking the cycle of poverty. Right now Orbis needs our help to make this happen. Until the 23rd June, all public donations to their See My Future appeal will be doubled by the UK government.

Orbis recently conducted a survey which discovered that just over half of Brits (53 per cent) do not get their eyes tested every two years as recommended, yet we can easily pop into an optician on our high street. Let’s use this as an opportunity to remember there are people who are not in the same position.

Through teamwork we can bring sight to thousands across the world and get children those all-important glasses or operations. This could be the difference between them achieving their dreams of becoming a scientist, a teacher or a journalist or - well the alternative is just too sad to contemplate.

Just £5.50 doubled to £11 could provide two new pairs of glasses for children struggling to see in school. Visit to make a donation and join the Orbis team today.

Mary Killen and Giles Wood

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