A York initiative aimed at raising awareness of the hidden danger of blindness could be used as a model for other events around the country.

The chief executive of the International Glaucoma Association, David Wright, came to the city on Monday (Feb 28) for the launch of a three-year campaign to combat that condition and diabetic eye diseases.

Members of all three York Lions clubs combined on Monday (Feb 28) to tell people about the three specific eye tests they need to warn of the onset of the diseases, which can lead to permanent blindness but are curable if they are caught in time.

The event, at the St Sampson's Centre in St Sampson's Square, was addressed by consultant ophthalmologist Robert Taylor and former Archdeacon of York the Ven George Austin, whose own eyesight was saved from glaucoma as a result of a simple test.

Lions spokesman Gordon Harrison said Mr Wright was so impressed with the St Sampson's event he wanted to be there himself.

He added he had been told the York initiative could be a model to be adopted by clubs elsewhere.

"It's very important, it's going to prevent people going blind," said Mr Harrison.

"The launch will carry us forward and spearhead us for the next three years."