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Eye cancer charity accepts £105,000 boost from Vision Express fundraising drive

Press Release   •   Feb 25, 2014 10:20 GMT

Vision Express has staged a special presentation celebrating the fundraising efforts of its team and customers, who have helped raise £105,000 during the past 12 months for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT).

Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson announced the optical retailer’s fundraising tally and presented a cheque to CHECT’s chief executive Joy Felgate.

The donation was the result of a major fundraising initiative to mark 25 years of trading by Vision Express, bringing together more than 4,000 staff across its UK-wide store network to raise money to help CHECT support families and individuals affected by a rare form of eye cancer called retinoblastoma.

A national focus of celebrations was a 200-mile fundraising cycle called ‘Ride4Sight’, which was tackled by a team of 40 volunteers, peddling from the company’s first store in Gateshead to the Nottingham head office. Four-time former Olympic cycling medallist Bryan Steel helped train the team and completed the journey riding tandem with Paralympian and CHECT patron Darren Harris. Both were present to celebrate the donation being officially made to the charity.

Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson said: “We chose to mark our 25 year trading milestone in a meaningful way, and we’re delighted that we’ve smashed our fundraising target and can present a cheque for £105,000 to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.

“I’m extremely proud that employees across the company have rolled up their sleeves to plan fundraisers, hold raffles, dress up in costumes and cycle through wind and rain, in a combined effort to raise money and enable us to make this donation.

“And we aren’t stopping there. Over the next 12 months we’ve set ourselves targets to raise even more, and we’ve established a dedicated charity committee to drive fundraising forward within the business so we can continue to make a difference.”

Accepting the cheque, Joy Felgate said: “This fundraising total is a truly amazing result and is testament to the hard work of the Vision Express team. It will make a huge difference to the vital help and support we can give to those whose lives have been affected by this life-threatening condition.

“CHECT has been the nominated charity of Vision Express since 2010 and over that time the relationship has gone from strength to strength. We’re thrilled that Vision Express has committed to building on this fundraising further in the next 12 months and will continue to help educate others about retinoblastoma.”

Vision Express was the first optician in the UK to adopt a company-wide protocol alerting all store staff to the signs of retinoblastoma in a bid to reduce delays in diagnosis.