Berkhamsted Runner Raising Money For Optician’s Service For Homeless People

Living Magazines Nick Laing Vision Care route

Nick Laing from Northchurch, Berkhamsted is raising sponsorship funds for Vision Care for Homeless People – a small charity which runs opticians 8 clinics for homeless people around England. Nick has challenged himself to run 500 miles before Christmas; the distance between all the clinics.

‘I’m running the distance it takes to get to all 8 VCHP clinics in England, roughly 500 miles. I’ve wanted to contribute in some way to this lovely charity for a long time .. every week until the end of the year, I plan to run at least 13 miles. Could you support me?’

Nick chose to raise money for Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP) as he was impressed by the service the charity provides to homeless and vulnerable people who would otherwise miss out on eye care. The money Nick is raising through sponsorship will be used across the clinics which are situated in homeless projects. The clinics are staffed by volunteer opticians who give eye tests and glasses where needed.  Nick has worked in the optical industry himself for 20 years and currently works as Area Manager for optical suppliers Centrostyle, so is well aware of the importance of good eye care.

Nick started his challenge back in April and so far has clocked up an impressive 250 miles. He is recording his regular training runs in the Berkhamsted area on an app and Vision Care for Homeless People have been translating this onto a map, charting his progress from the clinic in Exeter, to Brighton and now the London clinics.

250 miles sees Nick reaching the Crisis Skylight clinic in Tower Hamlets, the first clinic set up by the charity 16 years ago. Back in March 2003, a team of four optometrists came together. They wanted to provide optical services to homeless and other vulnerable people in an environment in which they feel comfortable. It took five months to find the equipment they needed and the right location. The clinic runs twice a week and is always fully booked. The charity are now looking at opening a new clinic in Stratford, London to meet need in this area.

250 miles run, 250 to go, to Birmingham, Manchester and on to the finish line in Leeds by Christmas.

Nick would love your support to encourage him over the coming weeks to carry on with his runs. Nick has lived in Northchurch for 20 years, raising 3 children, who all went to St.Marys School and two are still at Ashlyns School. He goes to St.Marys Church, Northchurch and is a member of the PCC and Fete committee. Anyone wishing to sponsor Nick in the second leg of his challenge should visit:

If you would like to sign up for a fundraising challenge to raise money for Vision Care for Homeless People or find out about volunteering in one of the clinics please contact Alison Gordon, Community Fundraiser, VCHP: