A charity ambassador from the Macular Society played guest of honour by opening new ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ stores in South West England – as research shows over 4,500 people are affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
Judy Pride, regional manager for the Macular Society, was on hand to help with the official openings at the Bradley Stoke and Bristol Eastville opticians, performing ribbon cuttings at the new stores, which house sophisticated sight screening equipment and can deliver a thorough eye health service to local residents.
Judy, aged 57, aims to increase awareness of macular disease throughout the South West, by helping to run support groups and recruiting and training volunteers.
She said: “We encourage all our members or those who think there might be something wrong with their sight to go for regular eye tests, perhaps more often than just once a year. If you can’t see very well, essentials jobs like going shopping can become really difficult, so it’s wonderful to be able to point customers to the Vision Express store all in one journey to the supermarket. Even if you already know you have AMD – for example the dry form could eventually turn to wet and you may not be aware of that and a visit to a good optician will identify that immediately.
“I chose to work at the Macular Society because my father has wet AMD, and I know as a family the impact that has on us all, how it changed him and the journey we have been on to getting him back to his old self. A little bit of help at the right time can change someone’s life instantly and that’s no understatement, I have had people sit next to me at group meetings and say to me, if it wasn’t for this group, I might not be here. The support we can offer is amazing.”
‘Vision Express at Tesco’ Bristol Eastville store manager, Matthew Hancock said: “With more than 3,000 local people in Bristol affected by age-related macular degeneration, we’re here to help.We have over 100 ways to test your eyes, to assess how they’re working and help detect serious conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of stroke. It’s great that Vision Express is now in such a convenient location for local residents to drop in and get this essential health check, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the public in our opening week.”
Judy also performed the official ribbon cutting at the new ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ store in Bradley Stoke alongside store manager Jane Lawley. More than 200 ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ outlets are launching across the UK in 2018, following Vision Express’ acquisition of Tesco Opticians at the end of 2017, and each showcases a purple-infused rebrand being introduced across the entire Vision Express networking.
Introducing a refreshed logo and striking purple and green colour décor each ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ store features bright sofas and wooden flooring to ensure a modern, inviting and vibrant environment to encourage customers to feel at ease.
Residents in nearby Brislington are also benefitting from a conveniently located ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ store, which is now open on Callington Road.
Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson added: “This is a hugely exciting time for the Vision Express family, and we’re delighted to welcome new team members to the company and provide a seamless eye health service to former Tesco optical customers. Crucially, we’re pleased to now be able to offer our vision expertise in a convenient location to residents.”
About Vision Express
Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.
With almost 600 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.
With around 6,000 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 Charity Project and include:
- Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
- International Glaucoma Association
- Macular Society
- Stroke Association
- Temple Street University Hospital