Vision Express

Vision Express and the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust announced as Charity Times Awards finalist

Press release   •   Jul 13, 2016 15:43 BST

A campaign to put the spotlight on a rare eye cancer and address the isolation of survivors has earned national recognition for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) and national optical retailer Vision Express.

They have been shortlisted for best Corporate National Partnership in the Charity Times Awards, following a successful partnership for an initiative called ‘In the Dark’ during World Retinoblastoma Week in May 2016.

The campaign aimed to raise awareness among parents of the aggressive form of eye cancer that affects babies and young children. Vision Express staged a nationwide sunglasses giveaway across each of its 390-plus stores and welcomed local CHECT ambassadors as special guests to launch the raffle.

During the campaign, inspirational stories of cancer survivors were shared with media, and social activity reached over 1 million users on Twitter alone, generating impressions of 2.5 million.

Vision Express CEO, Jonathan Lawson, commented: “In 2010 Vision Express forged a partnership with CHECT based on a shared commitment to encouraging parents to have their children visit an optician for a regular eye test. Since then we’ve become the first optician in the UK to roll out a protocol ensuring a quick and effective referral when retinoblastoma is suspected, and we continue to educate people on the signs and symptoms of this devastating condition.

“It’s fantastic to have national recognition for our collaboration for World Retinoblastoma Week, and as our partnership enters its sixth year, I’m extremely proud of the efforts of our teams and employees in support of CHECT. Our next event will see a team of Vision Express volunteers and friends cycle 200 miles over two days across the UK for our flagship fundraising venture, the Ride4Sight. Wish us luck.”

Around one child a week is diagnosed with retinoblastoma, and in many cases, children have to have an eye removed to stop the cancer spreading and save their life.

Figures released by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) for World Retinoblastoma Week revealed that less than one in three parents have ever had their child’s eyes checked by optician, GP or other health professional. It also found that half of parents didn’t know that children could get eye cancer and a further 36% admitted that although they were aware, they didn’t know much about it.

The Charity Times Awards continue to be the pre-eminent celebration of best practice in the UK charity and not-for-profit sector. Now in their 17th year, the awards are run by Charity Times Magazine - the leading title for UK non-profit professionals. This year’s winners will be announced at the Charity Times Awards Gala Dinner & Ceremony on 28 September 2016 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London. The event was attended by over six hundred guests in 2015 and this year is set to be bigger and better than ever.

Vision Express offers an eye test to best practice guidelines of the College of Optometrists, with each Vision Express optometrist being a qualified eye health professional. To book an eye test visit

For more information on retinoblastoma please visit

A short video of Eliza Thomas’ story is available below or by visiting:

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 5,800 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: