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Vision Express offering free eye examinations until end of October

Multiple launches sight test offer, Vision Van and social media prize competition to support National Eye Health Week

jonathan lawson
Vision Express is offering a free eye examination to everyone in the UK and Ireland until the end of October as part of its campaigning for National Eye Health Week (NEHW) (21–27 September).

The multiple is urging the public to take sight seriously amid a bleak forecast for the nation’s eye health. The initiative aims to tackle a worsening outlook for eye health and highlights research by the Royal National Institute of Blind People which reveals that almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss, despite over 50% of it being preventable.

An online voucher is being offered for a free eye test to be redeemed from 21 September at any of 400 Vision Express stores across the UK and Ireland.
To reinforce its commitment to eye health, Vision Express has also commissioned its Vision Van for a second consecutive year. Debuted during last year’s NEHW, the large mobile unit is equipped with the latest eye examination technology.

It is taking to the streets during this month in eye health hotspots across the UK, including London, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Hull and Manchester. It will be open for testing from 10am to 5pm.

Vision Express CEO, Jonathan Lawson, said: “A significant 85% of people tested on the Vision Van in 2014 required a new prescription, and one in 10 were referred to a GP.”

Mr Lawson added: “In 2015, as well as offering a free eye test for all, we’re bringing our Vision Van back, touring pockets of the UK chosen based on prevalence of vision conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinopathy and cataracts.”

He continued: “Sight loss has been identified as one of the public’s biggest fears and we want to encourage people to take positive steps to safeguard their sight for a lifetime. Research shows that 37% put off having an eye test due to cost concern, so by offering this essential health check for free, we are setting aside the affordability issue, in a bid to improve eye health prospects in the UK.”

As part of the Vision Van initiative, a ‘Spot the #VisionVan’ competition will launch on 21 September, inviting people to share images of the Vision Van on Twitter and Instagram using #VisionVan, for a chance to win £250 of eyewear.

An online app has also been developed, which adapts content from users’ social media accounts to show how pictures would appear to people affected by conditions such as myopia, macular degeneration or glaucoma.