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Vision Express helps youngster keep his eyes on the ball

Press Release   •   May 27, 2016 10:32 BST

Philippa Bannister, Derby Intu Vision Express optometrist helps Archie as he tries out some contact lenses

11-year-old Archie encourages use of contact lenses for sport, as UK prepares for summer of football

With the impending kick-off of Euros 2016, one young footballer from Belper is showing his peers who suffer with sight problems but love to play sport, how easy it is to try contact lenses at Vision Express. Featuring in a short video made by the national optical retailer, Archie gives an insight into how lenses have dramatically improved his vision and his game.

The footage tracks him on the pitch playing for his local side Belper Town Juniors FC and being fitted for his first pair of contact lenses. Archie, 11, is supported by his local optometrist Philippa Bannister from the Derby Intu Vision Express store.

Archie said: “I'm a goalkeeper and I kind of need to see the whole field. When my team scores I have to wait until my defenders all start screaming ‘yes’ and then I act like I've seen it, and I'm going yes!

“It’s not like wearing glasses, with glasses you can see the rims, but with contact lenses it’s just normal, you can see, it’s amazing! Once you put them in, you can't feel them whatsoever and everything is just normal, it's clear."

The video also includes footage of Archie’s dad, Jock Lewis, explaining that since he’s been wearing contact lenses they’ve seen a “significant improvement of performance and abilities during his game of football - they give him the confidence and freedom both on and off the pitch.”

There is no minimum age limit from when children can wear contact lenses, but they will need to be assessed by an optometrist on their clinical need and maturity before trialing them. Philippa explains why they are perfect for active youngsters: “Contact lenses are a great alternative to glasses for a lot of kids, particularly if they play sports. It’s a lot easier for them to play.”

Vision Express hopes the video will have significant impact and encourage more children to trial contact lenses while driving home the importance of regular eye tests for young people.

Omar Hassan, head of professional services at Vision Express explains: “As we prepare for a summer of football, this video shows young people who love sport, that having sight problems doesn’t need to hold them back. It also highlights how easy children’s eye tests are and the wide range of products, including contact lenses, which are open to youngsters to try.”

With children’s eye test rates still declining in the UK, Omar concludes: “Many parents still believe their children’s eyes are being tested in school but that is no longer the case. NHS provides free eye tests for under 16s and those in full time education up to 18. Guidelines advise check-ups at least every two years and children can be tested at any age, but before the time a child starts school and begins learning to read is recommended.”

Click here to watch Archie’s full story.

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 Charitable Partnerships and include:

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