The Evening Press has joined in a Lion-hearted battle against blindness, which is taking to the streets of York this month.

Members of the city's three Lions Clubs - Derwent, Minster and York - will be spending most of Saturday highlighting their international Eye Health Programme.

They will be in the Coppergate Centre selling special badges to help raise cash for a high-tech camera to be used by eye specialists at York District Hospital.

Presented with each badge will be a special Lions card designed and produced by the Evening Press, setting out the three tests needed from opticians to check for diabetic eye diseases and glaucoma.

The local clubs are taking part in the Lions Eye Health Programme, which is aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of these conditions which are easily treated so long as they are revealed in time.

But only eye tests can ensure their early detection and treatment, because the conditions tend to creep up on a patient and by the time they are aware of a problem the damage can be permanent, often resulting in blindness. The special badges sell at £1 each, with all proceeds going to efforts to raise the £17,000 needed to buy a digital retinal camera for York District Hospital.

Lions' spokesman Gordon Harrison said they had already raised the "first £1,000" even before the first badge was sold, with a £390 donation from the Deighton Golf Society to add to over £800 raised at the local Eye Health Programme launch at York's St Sampson's Centre in March.

The camera will be particularly useful for studying the eyes of small children, though it can be used on patients of all ages.