FIVE primary schools across Stirlingshire have played a major role in helping to collect more than 1,000 pairs of glasses for international optical charity Vision Aid Overseas (VAO).

Specsavers Stirling has been inundated with donations of old and unwanted glasses after launching an appeal for help.

The store team have had an unprecedented response from local pupils.

Allan's Primary in Stirling, St Mary's Primary in Bannockurn, Our Lady's Primary in Raploch, Doune Primary, and Fallin Primary volunteered to help collect the unwanted eyewear for VAO, which recycles glasses and uses them to help improve the vision of those with poor eyesight in developing countries.

The opticians has also been overwhelmed by the response from local customers and residents, who have sent in hundreds of pairs of glasses.

Susanne Akil, store director of Specsavers Stirling, said: "The support our Vision Aid Overseas appeal has received from Stirling and the wider community is just fantastic. We were particularly impressed by the generosity of our local primary schools, with pupils putting in a huge amount of effort to help us collect a total of 1,087 pairs."

Before the huge haul of glasses was sent off to VAO, some of the store's most creative staff members used them to create their very own artwork - a huge map of Africa made entirely with specs.

Despite the impressive number collected, Susanne is continuing to encourage locals to drop in to the store and hand in their old glasses.

Susanne added: 'We are extremely grateful to the school pupils and the wider public for getting behind this great initiative and we want to continue to support the charity. We accept glasses in any condition and you don't have to be a Specsavers customer to get involved.

'The availability of quality eyecare is something we all take for granted, so this is a great way to show support and give something back."

Specsavers is a long standing supporter of the charity with more than 250,000 pairs of glasses donated in the last eight years.

The opticians also raised �300,000 to open a new optical teaching facility last year in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, and is committed to raising sufficient funds to open outreach clinics all over the country, to make routine eyecare accessible for everyone.

Set up in 1985, VAO is dedicated to helping 300 million people throughout the developing world who suffer from poor vision.

The charity provides basic eye care through unpaid, qualified volunteers.