Vision Express has joined forces with the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) to highlight the importance of children’s eye health during Retinoblastoma Awareness Week, which runs from May 8–14.
Responding to the research published by the CHECT during the awareness week, which found that over two thirds of parents have never had their child’s eyes checked, Vision Express is hosting afternoon drop-in clinics at a number of its stores across the UK. It invites parents and their children to attend its London White City, York, Birmingham, Sheffield or Gateshead practices between 3pm and 7pm for a free sight test.
The multiple has said that it hopes the initiative will encourage parents to take their children for regular eye tests and to understand the importance of early detection when it comes to retinoblastoma.
Vision Express was the first UK opticians to roll out a protocol for its staff to follow to ensure a quick and effective referral if retinoblastoma is suspected. Having worked with the charity since 2010, the multiple has already supported a number of initiatives to both raise awareness of retinoblastoma and to drive donations for the CHECT.
Speaking about the partnership, CEO of Vision Express, Jonathan Lawson, said: “Children’s eye health is such a critical issue and events such as these are vital in educating parents and encouraging them to take their children for their free NHS eye test on a regular basis. We’ve been working with CHECT for seven years, helping to raise awareness of Rb and the signs to watch out for, and would urge parents to take this opportunity to come in to our stores for a thorough eye test.”
During the week, CHECT staff will be present during the Vision Express clinics to speak to parents and to help educate them about the signs and symptoms of the condition.
CEO of the CHECT, Patrick Tonks, said: “Vision Express continues to be a fantastic supporter of the CHECT, and we are delighted to attend their events during Retinoblastoma Awareness Week. Optometrists play an increasingly important role in driving early diagnosis of retinoblastoma, with more parents turning to opticians as their first port of call with any concerns about their child’s eyes.”
One child is diagnosed with retinoblastoma every week, the CHECT said, highlighting that while 98% of children survive, many face having their eye removed or suffer sight impairment.