FAQs

Why is avoidable blindness such a big problem?

Around the world, 285 million people are visually impaired. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 90% of blind people live in the developing world. It is estimated that 80% of visual impairments can be prevented or cured. Restoring sight is often quick, simple and cheap, so through Open Your Eyes, we really can make a big difference to lives with just small change.

What are the main causes of avoidable blindness?

Cataracts are responsible for 65% of blindness (that’s 22 million people) in the developing world. The other main causes are glaucoma (6 million people), leprosy and onchocerciasis (around 1 million people each), and conditions such as trachoma and corneal opacities.

What treatment do you provide?

We offer a range of medicines, care and operations that can prevent, cure or treat many of the above conditions. In many cases, a short course of antibiotics or the regular use of eye drops can restore clear vision or prevent a condition from getting worse.

A lot of the people we treat simply need basic eye care, such as glasses, and guidance on hygiene. Without the eye check many people would go blind even though there is a treatment or cure available, so it is vital that we continue to set up mobile clinic camps. Sometimes an operation is required, and we can refer people on to a hospital for this.

What does a mobile eye camp involve?

Each mobile eye camp is set up to give quality medical care and advice to several hundreds of people. The camps are run by a team of trained healthcare professionals, including opticians and ophthalmologists. They are qualified to examine and treat eye conditions and have a full kit of medical instruments and medicines.

Where are portable eye clinic campsites set up?

We have already held portable eye clinic campsites in Bangladesh, The Gambia and Pakistan and with your help, we can reach even more desperate people.

Can I make a regular payment?

Yes, small payments made regularly can make a big difference – this is the Penny Appeal way. You can set up an affordable monthly Direct Debit to help us give the gift of sight. Automatic, monthly payments are the most efficient way to support Penny Appeal as they reduce the cost of administration. Regular commitments allow us to plan ahead and ensure that we have a reliable source of income to provide aid.

Why should I Gift Aid my donation?

It really helps us if you can Gift Aid your sponsorship or donation – it increases the value of your donation by 25%. If you are a UK taxpayer, selecting to 'Gift Aid' your donation (either by checking the box online or ticking the box on a paper donation form) will make it worth more to us at no extra cost to you.

In order for Penny Appeal to reclaim the tax you have paid on your donations, you must have paid income or capital gains tax (in the UK) equal to the tax that will be claimed by all the charities that you donate to (currently 25p for every £1 you give) in the same tax year. 

The tax reclaimed will be used to help fund the administration costs of the charity so that more of your actual donation can go directly to those in need. 

Gift Aid can be added to your donation if you are donating your own money. We regret that Gift Aid cannot be reclaimed if you are paying donations that you collected from others, even if everyone was a UK taxpayer. Neither can it be reclaimed on donations made by companies. Other taxes such as VAT and council tax do not qualify. Gift Aid cannot be claimed on payments for any ticketed events.

Please notify us if you are no longer eligible, wish to cancel this declaration, change your name or home address or if you no longer pay sufficient tax on your income and/or capital gains. 

By ticking the box you agree that you are eligible to claim Gift Aid as explained above and that we can treat this donation, any donations made in the last 4 years, and future donations as Gift Aid, and that you understand that if you pay less income tax and/or capital gains tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in that tax year, it is your responsibility to pay any difference.

I can no longer afford the monthly payment. What can I do?

Please get in touch with us before cancelling your monthly payment as we could reduce the amount so that you can still help us provide life-saving aid. It also helps if you tell us first so that we can update our records.

Is my payment secure?

We only use secure systems with banking standard safety features to make sure that your payment and financial data cannot be compromised. All online payments are securely processed via KeyIVR Ltd, PayPal or SmartDebit, and no financial data is retained on our servers.