Vote for Gift of Sight


The Gift of Sight Appeal is requesting that its friends and supporters vote online to help it receive a £25,000 Community Award from the Freemasons.

As part of Freemasonry’s 300th anniversary celebrations, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing £3m to 300 charities across the country and the University of Southampton’s Gift of Sight Appeal is one of those selected.

Each of the nominated charities will receive a grant, but the public vote will determine how much they receive, ranging from £4,000 to £25,000.

Children’s eye problems come in many forms. They range from disorders affecting the growth of the eye as a whole, through specific retinal diseases to complex neurological eye movement problems. Many are congenital, many are associated with problems in other parts of the body and most are poorly understood. Children’s sight develops over the first few years of life so early diagnosis and treatment is vital to achieve the best outcome.

The project put forward for voting on in the Freemasons Community Award is to continue our funding for vision research to help babies and young children achieve the best possible treatment for their conditions. This will ensure that they are able to read and see as clearly as possible.

Gift of Sight funds have previously purchased imaging equipment and an eye tracker, which is used to study eye movements in children and this has led to Southampton Eye Unit being designated as one of three eye movement clinics in the UK. We always have a need for further equipment and for scientists to continue with their important studies.

Those who would like to vote should visit the MCF website, select the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Province page and vote for Gift of Sight. The voting period is open until Monday 31 July.

Ailsa Walter, Manager of The Gift of Sight Appeal, said: “A grant of £25,000 would make a huge difference to our work and what we are able to achieve. I would urge anyone and everyone to go online and vote for Gift of Sight. Please remember that every single vote counts.

“The Masonic Charitable Foundation obtains all of its funding from Freemasons and their families. It is estimated that half of Freemasonry’s total charitable expenditure of over £33m goes to charities that help people in communities across the country. Gift of Sight has benefited from this generosity in the past and is very grateful for the support received.

Michael Wilks, Provincial Grand Master from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Freemasons said: “We are proud to be able to support many charities across the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Province, but in this special 300th anniversary year we want to involve the public, as well as local Freemasons, in deciding which of the nominated charities should benefit most. I urge everyone to visit the website and vote.”

To vote for Gift of Sight to win up to £25,000, visit the MCF website.

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