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New vision for Oxford as refurbished optical store opens, aiming to increase awareness of preventable sight loss

Press Release   •   Aug 05, 2015 14:11 BST

New vision for Oxford as refurbished optical store opens, aiming to increase awareness of preventable sight loss

Oxford resident and sight loss sufferer Kay Bicknell is special guest to unveil refurbished Vision Express store

An Oxford resident who suffers from a sight-affecting macular condition was the special guest as Vision Express celebrated the opening of its new-look Oxford store.

Kay Bicknell, aged 82, who was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration five and a half years ago, joined the store team as a representative and volunteer for the Macular Society, which is a charity partner of Vision Express. A passionate campaigner for the charity, Kay performed the official ribbon-cutting to unveil the store’s new facilities and equipment.

The opening comes as a mapping report[1] highlighted the lifestyle factors and health behaviors that Oxfordshire residents could address to limit their risk of preventable sight loss.

With obesity impacting vision, a healthier diet is advised for the 1 in 5 Oxfordshire residents who eat less than two portions of fruit or vegetables per day. 18% of residents who smoke are urged to kick the habit, due to its link to age-related macular degeneration, which is the UK’s leading cause of sight loss.

The Oxford store re-opening sees the expertise of two Vision Express teams united under one roof at 16 Golden Cross. Headed up by store manager Alicia Matthews, the team has combined vision care experience of over 70 years.

Kay, who is also a member of the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted, has her condition treated with injections. She said: “I was extremely pleased to be part of the Oxford store opening, helping to raise awareness of macular degeneration and the importance of regular eye tests. Much of the problem with macular degeneration is that people are unfamiliar with the condition until they are diagnosed. I think it’s great that Vision Express is helping to raise the profile of it. This will hopefully make a huge difference in preventing avoidable sight loss.”

Alicia commented: “The team and I really enjoyed meeting Kay and learning more about the work of the Macular Society. We are so pleased to bring our two store teams together, in a new home that features the very best in eye health facilities and a team that can offer a thorough and individual vision care service.

“We recommend residents should visit an optician for a regular eye test, as the best way to tackle preventable sight loss. We’re looking forward to welcoming residents to our newly refurbished store for their next sight check.”

To mark the Oxford store opening on Tuesday 4th August, local residents were offered vouchers for 10% off non-prescription sunglasses, valid until the end of August 2015.

Vision Express offers an eye test 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 at the Oxford store call 01865 243567, visit 16 Golden Cross, Oxford,
OX1 3EU, or book online:


Image one: L-R Kay Bicknell from the Macular Society with Vision Express store manager Alicia Matthews.

Image two: Kay tries on some frames for size, from Vision Express’ wide range.

[1]National Eye Health Week Eye Health Mapping Research, Experian, 2013

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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