A five-year-old eye cancer survivor was guest of honour as the Vision Express store in Walton-on-Thames reopened following refurbishment.
Drew Wisdom-Murray who lost an eye to a rare form of cancer, cut the ribbon in a ceremony to reopen the store in The Heart Shopping Centre, on Saturday 9 January 2016.
The Ashley C of E School pupil and his mum Jennie Wisdom are campaigners for awareness of retinoblastoma, which Drew was diagnosed with as a toddler. They represent the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), a nominated charity supported by Vision Express.
Drew was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma in August 2012. Despite having extensive treatment including chemotherapy and cryotherapy, he lost his right eye.
Following the opening event, the team at the Vision Express store have pledged to work with customers to raise funds to help CHECT research retinoblastoma and support sufferers and their families.
Drew and Jennie, who live at Weybridge, joined store director Nav Chawla and colleagues from Vision Express for the reopening ceremony. Drew was also supported by some of his school friends, who enjoyed cupcakes and balloons laid on by employees.
The store, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October, welcomes newly-qualified optometrist Priya Katira to its experienced team.
Store director Nav Chawla says: "It was lovely to welcome Drew and Jennie to the store to help mark this special occasion. Having Drew's friends coming to support him built awareness which was a good thing and it meant a lot to him to see his friends.
“Our thanks go to them for helping with the launch. The refurbishment means we can provide a high level of service, with an offering which includes sophisticated eye health screening equipment and a wide selection of frames. We offer a big welcome to all of our customers old and new."
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 Walton-on-Thames store call 01932 254270, visit 31, The Heart Shopping Centre, New Zealand Ave, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey KT12 1GH, or book online: www.visionexpress.com/book-eye-test/
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.