Olivia Harrison, a young eye cancer survivor from Armthorpe, was guest of honour at the Vision Express Doncaster store to unveil the newly refurbished premises to the public.
As an ambassador for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), Olivia, 7, and her mum Jane joined the team to perform a ribbon cutting and relaunch the store after its recent extensive renovation.
A nominated charity of Vision Express, CHECT raises awareness of a rare form of eye cancer called retinoblastoma, also known as Rb. Around 50 to 60 cases of Rb are diagnosed each year and while 90% of those diagnosed will survive, they may face having an eye removed.
Olivia was first diagnosed with Rb at birth. She underwent gruelling chemotherapy and laser therapy, as well as lifesaving surgery to remove one of her eyes, but she is determined not to let her early setbacks hold her back.
Olivia and Jane were welcomed by store manager Margaret Maughan and the rest of the Vision Express Doncaster team, which has over 50 years of combined optical experience at the store.
Margaret said: “It was a privilege to welcome Olivia and her mum to declare our newly refurbished store open. We’ve been trading from our store in the Frenchgate Shopping Centre for 10 years now and it’s fantastic to have upgraded facilities so we can continue to offer local residents a thorough and individual vision care service.
“It’s always great to see Olivia when she comes into the store, to see how well she’s doing and to also raise awareness of the importance of regular eye tests, and crucially of retinoblastoma.”
Vision Express has enjoyed an award-winning partnership with the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) since 2010, using initiatives to raise awareness and drive donations for the charity, so they can help more families affected.
It was the first optician in the UK to roll out a protocol to ensure a quick and effective referral if retinoblastoma is suspected. Employees and customers of Vision Express have raised around £300,000 since the partnership was forged and recently added £25,000 to the tally with a 200-mile cycle fundraiser in September, called the ‘Ride4Sight’.
Vision Express offers an eye test to best practice guidelines of the College of Optometrists (COO), with each Vision Express optometrist being a qualified eye health professional. To book an eye test at the Doncaster store call 01302 366555, visit 28 Upper North Mall, Frenchgate Shopping Centre, DN1 1LJ or make an online enquiry at: www.visionexpress.com/book-eye-test/
For more information on retinoblastoma please visit www.chect.org.uk
About Vision Express
Vision Express is the third largest optical retailer in the UK and part of GrandVision,the global leader in optical retail operating across 43 countries, spanning over 6,000 stores and online.
With more than 390 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.
Vision Express is considered one of the leading and most trusted opticians in the UK and Ireland, with its European offering supported through sister eye care brands Grand Optical, Solaris and Generale D'Optique.
With around 4,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charitable Partnerships and include: