The Retail Week Awards have unveiled Vision Express as a finalist this week, acknowledging the success of a campaign that saw free eye tests offered to the public during National Eye Health Week (NEHW) 2016.
The optician’s specially-commissioned ‘Vision Van’ – a high-tech mobile eye testing unit – toured the UK and helped improve the eye health of the public. One in seven tested were referred for further medical attention for suspected conditions including squints and glaucoma. This is the highest referral rate per eye test in the three years the Vision Van has travelled the length and breadth of the country.
Over half of those tested on the Vision Van as it travelled to Portsmouth, Swindon, Swansea, Leicester and Leeds, had an out of date prescription. A similar number confessed to not having had an eye test in the past five years. The activity resulted in more than double the average weekly number of tests booked via www.visionexpress.com, buoyed by a nationwide free eye test offer.
The campaign has been shortlisted as the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year, in tribute to how Vision Express delivered it in collaboration with its charity partners – the Macular Society, Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), International Glaucoma Association, Stroke Association plus Public Health England. Vision Express will be pitted against brands including Debenhams, B&Q and Halfords at the awards ceremony in March 2017.
The Retail Week Awards recognition follows close behind a national plaudit for Vision Express for its work with the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.
Earlier this month Vision Express took home the Social Media Communications Award for best Charity Campaign 2016, thanks to a campaign raising awareness of a rare, aggressive cancer during World Retinoblastoma Week 2016. The activity featured a case study of three-year-old who was diagnosed with retinoblastoma following an eye test and had her left eye removed a week later to save her life.
More award success may be on the horizon for the optical retailer too, as it vies against Barclays Bank, Virgin Money, Transport for London and Fujitsu for Best Youth Initiative in the Personnel Today Awards. It marks the success of the Vision Express apprenticeship scheme, which in its first year received 3,000 applications, averaging 40 hopefuls competing for every place.
Jonathan Lawson, Vision Express CEO, commented: “The Vision Van, our charity partnerships and the apprenticeship scheme are just three areas of activity that we’re particularly proud of at Vision Express. It’s great to see that teams across the business are being rewarded for their efforts on a national platform, and my thanks go to them for their hard work.”