Volunteer opticians from Vision Care for Homeless People were visited by 327 patients during the Christmas period last year.

Hundreds of pairs of glasses were dispensed from the London Crisis clinics to homeless people with uncorrected vision and 23 people were referred to hospital for ophthalmic treatment.

Many homeless people have relied on this service, which is run all year round by the charity. More than 60 volunteers participated this year, which included several ophthalmologists from Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Bana Garib, Eye Clinic Service organiser, said: ‘Some of our patients speak movingly about how they have not been treated with so much decency and respect for many years.Alarmingly, we have picked up some pathology which has seen the patients referred to hospital. We have certainly seen a younger demographic this year. Glasses get broken regularly by people sleeping on buses and through street violence.’