LIONS Club members from Bridport, Dorchester and Weymouth and Portland are celebrating a spectacular collection.

In the past year the local clubs, pictured, have amassed 6,500 pairs of used spectacles through their annual Spec Trek initiative.

A team of Lions from the Dorset clubs handed over their bounty to the Petersfield Club, which gathers in the collections from the 60 clubs in the Lions district.

Weymouth and Portland Lion Norman Apps said: “Donating your old used spectacles can work miracles in the third world.

“We, along with Lions clubs throughout the UK collect and grade used spectacles for distribution in the third world.

“This has far more benefit than hard currency as in many poor countries, if the cash were available, it would be almost impossible to purchase a pair of spectacles. A simple thing like a pair of spectacles, which we take for granted, can turn a dependent person into a productive citizen, less dependent upon aid.

“The Lions would like to thank all those people who have donated their old spectacles for the kindness. Rest assured – they will be put to good use.”

The Spec Trek initiative actually began in Weymouth back in 1982, when fundraisers came up with the idea over a few pints.

The Lions had many ongoing sight campaigns running in a number of countries at the time and the idea was to collect and grade used and otherwise discarded spectacles that could then be used in third world countries which had limited sight care provision.

In the 32 years Spec Trek has been running more than three million pairs of spectacles have been collected by Lions across the district from participating opticians in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

On Spec Trek day four transit style vehicles go round collection the spectacles from the dozens of Lions Clubs in Dorset and its neighbouring districts to be forwarded on to those in need in the third world.