24 August 2011
(the charity, not the dogs themselves!)
Clearly, for registered charity, Guide Dogs, eye health is of massive importance. The organisation has now extended its care to cover not only those who benefit from the charity's dogs but also to look after the eyesight of their own members of staff.
Guide Dogs has selected Specsavers Corporate Eyecare to provide VDU eyecare for approximately 1,200 members of staff across the UK. Justin Keppler, rewards and benefits officer for Guide Dogs, who was responsible for implementing the scheme, says: ‘Like all employers, Guide Dogs needs to ensure that any members of staff using display screen equipment receive eyetests and glasses, if required for VDU use. We decided recently to centralise our eyecare provision and the VDU voucher scheme offered by Specsavers works well for our needs. Ordering, receiving and issuing the vouchers is extremely easy to manage. It's not rocket-science but that is exactly what we require for eyecare administration. Being a charity, we need to manage funds wisely. We pay upfront for the vouchers and then cross-charge the relevant departments.'
Mr Keppler goes on to explain the added value of voucher schemes. ‘The vouchers are free for the individual and I am always keen to communicate the additional benefits. Although we are only able to offer the legislative minimum, there is always the opportunity to supplement this. The VDU vouchers offer more than just a free eyetest. Our employees can benefit from free glasses, if required, and can put the vouchers towards more expensive options. They can also use the vouchers in conjunction with other offers, like two-for-one, which is unusual. The feedback I have received from our employees is 99.9% positive.'
Luke Bratton, account manager for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, says: ‘It is great that as a charity, Guide Dogs is not only able to look after the eye health of its staff but that it is able to make use of the additional benefits as well, without incurring additional costs. We also offer Premium Club vouchers free of charge when a company or organisation orders any of our vouchers. The Premium Club vouchers entitle the holder to a £20 discount on all glasses from the £99 range or above, including designer ranges. Corporate clients simply request as many Premium Club vouchers as they require, up to three per employee, per year, for themselves and two family members.'
Specsavers stores throughout the UK have made an ongoing fundraising commitment to Guide Dogs. They have collectively pledged to raise £250,000 to fund the training of 25 new guide dog puppies.