Girl receives gift of sight after glasses from Nailsea sent round the world
PUBLISHED: 07:38 13 June 2019
An opticians from Nailsea has made an eight-year-old girl's dream come true by sending glasses out to a remote island so she can attend school.
Lorraine Payne, a retired holistic therapist from Flax Bourton, has a holiday home in Cape Verde and regularly visits the neighbouring remote islands to help communities living in poverty.
Lorraine helped Stefan - a boy from the island of Sal - to get braces for his teeth, which led to her learning of Josiey's plight.
Stefan was contacted by Josiey's family, who were desperate to get help for their daughter who could not attend school due to her severely poor eyesight.
Lorraine said: "This was when Stefan got in touch and told me it was Josiey's dream to go to school, at which point I visited Specsavers in Nailsea to see if they could help."
Josiey lives on the island of Sao Nicolau which is extremely remote - locals do not even have access to running water or electricity, let alone postal services or phones.
Alison Watford, store manager at Specsavers in Nailsea, said: "As soon as we heard Josiey's story, we had to help.
"It wasn't an easy task because we didn't have any measurements or any idea how bad her eyesight was."
Josiey's measurements for the specs had to be passed through several islands before eventually reaching Nailsea.
Lorraine said: "I knew it was a long shot, but I was determined to get Josiey to school.
"To even get the measurements was incredible. I was over the moon that Specsavers then made two pairs of glasses free of charge for Josiey.
"Getting them back to Sao Nicolau was my next mission.
"A friend of mine in Holland was due to visit Sal in Cape Verde soon, so I sent them to Holland and hoped for the best."
The specs were given to Stefan in Sal and a few weeks later he met some European tourists who were sailing over to the island on holiday, so they took the glasses and delivered them.
Joisey finally received her specs and she can now attend school.
Lorraine said: "It's amazing how these things come together. I'd like to thank everyone who helped make this happen.
"If it wasn't for the donation from Specsavers in Nailsea, Josiey might not have ever been able to see properly or go to school."