Vision Express

Teen eye cancer survivor joins Vision Express to officially open new optical store at Tesco in Bar Hill

Press release   •   Mar 26, 2018 16:39 BST

The new ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ store in Bar Hill has officially opened its doors, with a celebration led by child eye cancer survivor and charity ambassador, Woody Swann.

Childhood Eye Cancer Trust ambassador, Woody and his dad Lincoln Swann were on hand to help cut the ribbon on the premises, which is home to sophisticated sight screening equipment, to deliver a thorough eye health service to local residents.

In 2009, Woody was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (Rb), a rare and aggressive form of eye cancer, when he was five years old. “My wife Sally and I had noticed that Woody had developed a white glow in his left eye, on a photograph we had taken,” explained Lincoln. “After a visit to the local hospital, it was confirmed that Woody had Rb and we were referred to the Royal London Hospital to be seen the following week.”

After an MRI scan, it was revealed a late diagnosis meant the only option was to remove Woody’s left eye. Lincoln continued: “Being told our little boy would have to have such a life changing operation was devastating, and as he was discharged from the hospital on Christmas Eve, the holidays were tough for us all that year.”

Luckily, Woody didn’t need to have chemotherapy treatment following his operation as the cancer hadn’t spread and he now attends annual check-up appointments to check it hasn’t returned.

Vision Express at Tesco Bar Hill store manager, Lorna Parker said: “It’s fantastic to have Woody and his family join the team to officially open our new store.

“We’re here to help residents ensure their vision is the best it can be, and Woody’s story demonstrates the importance of looking after your eye health.

“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.”

The Bar Hill optical store is one of more than 200 ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ outlets launching across the UK in 2018, with residents in nearby town Newmarket also benefiting from Vision Express’ state-of-the-art facilities at their local Tesco Extra on Fordham Road. 

Both stores showcase a purple-infused rebrand being introduced across the entire Vision Express chain.The re- brand introduces a refreshed logo and striking purple and green colour decor, featuring bright sofas and wooden flooring, delivering a modern, inviting and vibrant environment to encourage customers to feel at ease.

Vision Express’ acquired Tesco Opticians at the end of 2017. In preparation for the expected increase in demand for frames prompted by the acquisition, a £1.5 million investment has been made at Vision Express’ Nottingham-based Technical Centre.

The national home of Vision Express’ laboratory, the Technical Centre currently produces more than one million pairs of glasses a year but following the investment, production capacity is expected to double during 2018.

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
  • Brake