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Sightsavers partner with New Star PDF
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Monday, 22 September 2008
Sightsavers has started an innovative new partnership with the asset management company New Star, which should generate funds for their work in Africa. Investments accepted into the New Star Heart of Africa Fund using a special Sightsavers International application form will generate a contribution from New Star for Sightsavers’ work in Africa, at no additional cost to investors.

After decades of political unrest and economic instability in Africa there are signs that the economic opportunities there are changing. This has led to increased interest from investors and in 2007 New Star launched the Heart of Africa Fund, which invests in sub-Saharan African companies.

There are many reasons why Africa’s economy is changing, such as the increasing demand from Asia for natural resources, improvements in infrastructure, increased political stability and a reduced debt burden. Countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana are some of the key beneficiaries of the increased demand for resources.

For investments accepted in New Star’s Heart of Africa Fund, New Star will donate all of the initial charge, half of the annual charge and half of any performance fees that would have been paid to the company. Investors should not treat these charitable contributions as a reason for investing and are encouraged to consult a financial adviser.
Vision Group Holding to seek new CEO PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 19 September 2008
Vision Group Chairman, Mr Shane Tanner, yesterday announced that the company would be seeking to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer as the current CEO, Mr Neil Rodaway, will be leaving the group at the end of December 2008.

Mr Tanner said, “Neil joined us at a time when a number of questions were being asked about Vision’s ability to grow organically and maintain strong margins. Neil has in a short period of only 18 months helped us deliver improved profitability at a continued high margin. He has overseen the addition of 16 new Doctor Partners and has brought about an improvement in the level of management, discipline and rigour appropriate for a public company,” he said.

“Vision is now a more robust organisation with our practices delivering steady organic growth, strong cashflow and stable profitability from a larger Doctor Partner base working together under one consistent brand.

The Board, however, concluded that for Vision to realise its next growth phase – both within ophthalmology and potentially other medical specialities – alternate leadership is required. As a result we have reached an agreement with Neil that he step down from his position as CEO and Managing Director of Vision Group. All parties agree this change is in the best long-term interests of the company.

Neil will continue to provide his services to the company while we undertake the search for a new CEO.”
Children still bullied for wearing specs PDF
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International News
Friday, 19 September 2008
Research commissioned by Specsavers to mark the inaugural National Glasses Day in UK on Friday 19 September reveals that, despite role models like Johnny Depp and David Tennant making wearing glasses more fashionable, a quarter of children were sad when they were told that they had to wear specs.

Iconic specs wearer, Gok Wan, presenter of C4’s How to Look Good Naked, has joined forces with Specsavers and anti-bullying charity Kidscape to encourage all specs wearers to wear their glasses with pride and draw attention to bullies who ridicule people for the way they look.

The style guru, who was himself a victim of school bullies, wants to raise awareness of the long-term damage classroom taunts can have, not only on a child’s self-esteem but on their education generally, and says that there is no place in today’s classrooms for kids who taunt their schoolmates for wearing specs.
Contacts with Swarovski crystals to sparkle your eyes... PDF
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Product News
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Designer Anthony Mallier from India has created ‘Sparkle’ contact lenses to make your eyes “Sparkle like they’ve never sparkled before.” The ‘Sparkle’ contact lenses are fused with tiny Swarovski crystals in a circle around the edges of the lenses.

The ‘Sparkle’ contact lenses are the second place winner in the ‘Crystal Vision’ competition co-organized by designboom and Swarovski. Mallier took the ‘Crystal Vision’ theme literally when he designed the crystal eye ‘bling’. The competition had 4074 entries from 92 countries.
UK: optical regulator wins case against illegal online contact lens sales PDF
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International News
Thursday, 18 September 2008
An Internet retailer in U.K. has been ordered to pay over £60,000 as the General Optical Council (GOC) successfully concluded a criminal prosecution for illegal sales of contact lenses.

Vision Direct pleaded guilty to six offences of selling contact lenses without a valid specification and without the supervision of a registered doctor or optician. Sale and supply of optical appliances are regulated under the Opticians Act. The charges related to test purchases carried out by the GOC’s solicitors in May 2007.

Following their guilty pleas at Hendon Magistrate’s Court, Vision Direct were ordered to pay a fine of £3,600 for each offence – a total of £21,600 – and to pay the GOC’s legal costs of £39,296. Passing sentence, the district judge stated: “This is important legislation, which has the protection of the general public at its heart. The defendants appear to have paid lip service to the legislation and to the duty of care that they owed to members of the public.”

Dian Taylor, acting chief executive of the GOC, said: “This is a significant result for the Council. The law is designed to protect consumers from eye health problems by ensuring that qualified professionals are involved in prescribing and selling contact lenses. We will continue to take action in the interest of public safety against companies who breach those rules.”

“The GOC is currently investigating other alleged offences and will not hesitate to bring further prosecutions in the criminal courts should it be necessary. I would urge all other online retailers to ensure that their processes are compliant with the legislation.”
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