Are you willing to give up some of your time later this month to help a nationally known annual good cause? Crisis, the homelessness charity, is urgently appealing for optical professionals to volunteer their skills to help homeless people this Christmas.

Up to 1,500 homeless and vulnerably housed people will visit the 34th Crisis Open Christmas later this month. Some will be rough sleepers, but the majority will be 'hidden homeless' people who may stay in hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation or with friends and family.

Held at six venues across London, the Crisis Open Christmas provides access to a range of essential health, accommodation, work and learning support as well as companionship at a time of year that can be especially lonely for homeless people.

Coming to the Open Christmas is the first step many guests take towards rebuilding their lives, and the charity hopes that many will be inspired to take up year-round opportunities at Crisis, such as workshops and courses it makes available.

Optometry is an integral part of the medical services on offer and many guests may not have received eye care for some time.

Practitioners are urgently needed to volunteer for a range of shifts between December 23-30 inclusive. Last year 180 eye tests were given and 85 pairs of spectacles were issued.

Elaine Styles, Crisis optometry service organiser, said: 'It is fantastic to help people when they are at a low point in their lives.'

Email volunteering@crisis.org.uk or call 020 7426 3874 for an application form.