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National award recognition for Vision Express’ acclaimed ‘Vision Van’ eye health initiative

Press Release   •   Nov 11, 2016 17:25 GMT

The Vision Express Vision Van hits Portsmouth to mark the start of National Eye Health Week

The prestigious Retail Week Awards have unveiled Vision Express as a finalist this week, acknowledging the success of a campaign that saw free eye tests offered to the public during National Eye Health Week (NEHW) 2016.

The optician’s specially-commissioned ‘Vision Van’ - a high-tech mobile eye testing unit - toured the UK and helped improve the eye health of the public. One in seven tested were referred for further medical attention for suspected conditions including squints and glaucoma. This is the highest referral rate per eye test in the three years the Vision Van has travelled the length and breadth of the country.

Over half of those tested on the Vision Van as it travelled to Portsmouth, Swindon, Swansea, Leicester and Leeds, had an out of date prescription. A similar number confessed to not having had an eye test in the past five years. The activity resulted in more than double the average weekly number of tests booked via, buoyed by a nationwide free eye test offer.

The campaign has been shortlisted as the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year, in tribute to how Vision Express delivered it in collaboration with its charity partners - the Macular Society, Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), International Glaucoma Association, Stroke Association plus Public Health England. Vision Express will be pitted against brands including Debenhams, B&Q and Halfords at the awards ceremony in March 2017.

The Retail Week Awards recognition follows close behind a national plaudit for Vision Express for its work with the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.

Earlier this month Vision Express took home the Social Media Communications Award for best Charity Campaign 2016, thanks to a campaign raising awareness of a rare, aggressive cancer during World Retinoblastoma Week 2016. The activity featured a case study of three-year-old who was diagnosed with retinoblastoma following an eye test and had her left eye removed a week later to save her life.

More award success may be on the horizon for the optical retailer too, as it vies against Barclays Bank, Virgin Money, Transport for London and Fujitsu for Best Youth Initiative in the Personnel Today Awards. It marks the success of the Vision Express apprenticeship scheme, which in its first year received 3,000 applications, averaging 40 hopefuls competing for every place.

Jonathan Lawson, Vision Express CEO, commented: “The Vision Van, our charity partnerships and the apprenticeship scheme are just three areas of activity that we’re particularly proud of at Vision Express. It’s great to see that teams across the business are being rewarded for their efforts on a national platform, and my thanks go to them for their hard work.”

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 6,000 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:

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