Specsavers has offered eye care vouchers worth £64 to Big Issue vendors after it became the sole sponsor of the magazine’s tabards.

Vendors can spend the voucher on a sight test, including optical coherence tomography, and eyewear, as well as receive free ear wax removal. Specsavers said it wanted to break down the barriers to accessing healthcare that people who experience poverty and homelessness face because they do not have a permanent address.

Peter Bainbridge, UK managing director of Specsavers’ optical business, said: ‘Because of the circumstances they find themselves in, many homeless or vulnerably housed people don’t have access to eye and hearing care that can make a huge difference to their future prospects.

‘They have a much higher prevalence, not just of uncorrected refractive error, but of conditions that if left untreated, can lead to permanent sight loss.

‘By offering Big Issue vendors free eye care and sponsoring their tabards, which give them improved visibility on the streets, we can help to make a difference.’

Russell Blackman, managing director of the Big Issue Group, added that improving eye care was essential for skills building, confidence and finding work. ‘We are delighted to be working with Specsavers on this new initiative that will help to change lives through better sight,’ he said.