Vision Care for Homeless People is appealing for more optometrists and dispensing opticians to volunteer to work at its London or Birmingham centres.

According to the charity, some of London's homeless people are struggling to function without vision correction and it urgently needs volunteers to help cope with the growing demand for its services.

In London, the charity has a complete optical practice housed within the Crisis Centre, near Liverpool Street Station and another based in Victoria. The Birmingham Centre is located within the Salvation Army's William Boot Centre, in Snow Hill.

Founder Harinder Paul is urging practitioners not to be put off at the prospect of not knowing who they will meet if they volunteer. 'Ninety-eight per cent of those who come to us for help are not rough sleepers but marginalised people who live in hostels and safe houses but they just do not feel comfortable going into high street opticians,' he explained.

? For more information, email or call 0207 017 2026.