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Cheltenham eye cancer teen helps Vision Express unveil new High Street store

Press Release   •   Aug 26, 2015 14:00 BST

A 16-year-old eye cancer survivor has officially opened the new Vision Express store in Cheltenham, in a special visit representing the optician’s nominated charity, the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.

Ahead of Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September, Millie Bywater declared the store open alongside Vision Express Cheltenham staff in a ribbon cutting to mark the occasion.

Millie was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer called retinoblastoma at just nine months old. Following her diagnosis she underwent extensive treatment in both eyes before having her right eye removed on her third birthday. Now registered blind, Millie is a hopeful for the 2020 Paralympic swimming team.

Moving from its former premises in the Beechwood Centre, the optician’s new site will include upgraded facilities and state-of-the art examining equipment. The relocation will help the Cheltenham team continue to deliver a thorough vision care service to the local community from its new home at 188 High Street.

The team is headed up by store manager Jacqui Kennedy, who is thrilled with the new store. She said: “It was great to welcome Millie to our store to do the ribbon-cutting honours on behalf of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.

“The whole team is really happy with the fantastic store and can’t wait to continue to offer a thorough and professional vision care service to our customers.”

Millie added: “It was great opening the new Vision Express store in Cheltenham. I had a really exciting day and was proud to cut the ribbon as a local representative for CHECT.

“I was extremely impressed by the eye health facilities available at the new store and the whole team was so friendly and professional.”

Vision Express offers an eye examination 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 visit the Cheltenham Vision Express store at 188 High Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1EP, call 01242 238777 or visit

*More images are available upon request

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 Charity Project and include:

Alzheimer’s Research UK

Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)

International Glaucoma Association

Macular Society

Stroke Association

Temple Street University Hospital.

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