Watch manager encourages sight tests on #WorldSightDay

Thursday 14 October marks World Sight Day, and this year Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) are proudly supporting its #WorldSightDay2021 campaign which encourages people to make a pledge by booking a sight test, to check in on their eye health. 

Visual impairments can affect anyone of any age, and for many of us, this could mean wearing glasses whilst reading, or using contact lenses each day. Eye care in the UK can be accessed via high-street opticians as well as via your GP, but for many people around the world, this is not the case. Globally, at least one billion people have a visual impairment that could have been prevented or has not yet been addressed.  If a visual impairment goes untreated, it can have a major impact on all aspects of life, often resulting in social isolation.

AF&RS Watch Manager Marcus Sherborne has experienced first-hand the impact of visual impairment. On New Year’s Day 2013, Marcus was involved in a freak accident, which caused his right eye to puncture and his eye socket and cheek bone to break. With his jaw also broken, Marcus was told by medical professionals that he was just two centimetres away from losing his life. Since the incident, Marcus has undergone 16 complex surgeries, including two corneal transplants and an artificial iris.

Marcus said: “I’ve worked for AF&RS as a retained Firefighter for over 22 years, and was successfully promoted to the position of Watch Manager at Pill fire station over 10 years ago. When I had the accident, I thought that my fire service career was over. However, the cornea replacements have meant that I have been able to continue my work in the fire service operationally, and am still able to serve my local community.”

The transplants Marcus received have had a huge impact on his life, and for him, his eye health is a top priority, which is why this World Sight Day he is encouraging everyone to have yearly eye tests to keep in check with their eye health.

We’re proud to be supporting #WorldSightDay2021 along with Marcus by encouraging those who haven’t, to book a yearly eye test. Most eye tests can be booked online and are available from any high-street opticians. Further, if you have urgent concerns about your eye health, visit your GP or call NHS 111 for advice.

Pledge your eye test here: Make a Pledge - The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (