Aviation industry joins forces with eye care charity Orbis UK to help twice as many children see


Orbis Flying Eye Hospital

Award winning private aviation travel company ConnectJets, and premier flight support solutions company, Flightworx, have thrown their support behind blindness prevention charity Orbis UK, to help raise awareness for their See My Future appeal. For three months, until 23rd June, all public donations to the appeal will be doubled by the UK government.

In many parts of the world, avoidable sight loss means children are dropping out of school. Issues such as refractive error, cataract and strabismus (severe squint) can all impede a child’s ability to see the blackboard, their text books and their teachers. In some cases children are dropping out of school to care for an adult with sight-loss.

See My Future aims to raise £850,000 and the UK government will match every pound, up to £2 million, which will help save the sight of thousands of children and adults around the world.

All of the money matched by the UK government will go directly towards expanding Orbis’s project in Nepal which screens and treats children with sight loss, enabling them to attend school and face a brighter future. All individual donations will support the charity’s vital sight saving work across the world, wherever it is needed most.

The aviation industry and Orbis have a long standing connection via the charity’s unique Flying Eye Hospital, a state of-the-art ophthalmic teaching hospital on board a customised MD-10 aircraft. It is a fully-integrated training facility, with an operating theatre, recovery room, and audio-visual equipment that transmits live surgeries to a 46-seat classroom at the front of the plane. Every year, the Flying Eye Hospital visits countries around the world, partnering with local hospitals to deliver specialist training through the charity’s expert medical volunteers.

Gabriella Somerville, Connectjets Managing Director said: “ConnectJets are delighted to support Orbis and the admirable work that this charity undertakes. Utilising their aircraft to encourage education on a local-scale, whilst ensuring action is taken on an international-scale, continues to transform the lives of those struggling with preventable blindness, worldwide.”

Jennette Bentley, Flightworx General Manager continued: “We are humbled to support this great charity which enables children with sight loss to have the right to an education. Using their state-of-the-art aircraft, they can take the operating theatre and training cabin to where it is needed.”

Rebecca Cronin, Orbis UK CEO commented: “With a simple eye exam and a pair of glasses, a child’s life can be transformed. Clear sight opens up a future of possibilities – children can return to school, play with their friends and contribute to society, breaking the cycle of poverty.

“With the UK government’s Aid Match scheme, our See My Future appeal really will have twice the impact – just £5.50 doubled to £11 could provide two new pairs of glasses for children struggling to see in school.

“We would like to thank Connectjets and Flightworx for their support. Our industries have collaborated for almost 40 years and what we have achieved since 1981, really does show how working together can make a real difference. By getting behind the See My Future Appeal, we can raise much needed awareness and funds to provide people across the world with the eye care they deserve.”

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Access to proper eye care can be life changing for a Nepalese schoolchild. Unchecked visual impairments can lead to blindness, meaning the child is forced to leave school, and potentially faces a lifetime of unemployment and poverty.

“By giving them basic eye-care, the UK Aid-backed See My Future appeal will help give a future to more than 300,000 children across Nepal.

“UK Aid Match will double every pound, up to £2m, which the Great British public donates to this campaign, meaning their generosity will go twice as far.”