Aiming to smash its fundraising targets and make its 30th anniversary year the most charitable yet, Vision Express has unveiled the 30-strong team who will be riding in this year’s legendary ‘Ride4Sight’ challenge.
Announced during Retinoblastoma (Rb) Awareness Week (13-19 May 2018), the team of all-star riders, which include Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson and Olympians Bryan Steel and Darren Harris, has begun its extensive training for the challenge which will take place in September on behalf of charity partner, the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT).
Focusing on all things ‘30’, the fourth ‘Ride4Sight’ led by CEO Jonathan Lawson, incorporates a 300km route climbing altitudes of up to 3000m, in a bid to raise in excess of £30,000 for CHECT.
For the fourth time, Paralympian and CHECT patron Darren Harris will participate, riding on a tandem bike with Olympic cycling medallist Bryan Steel. CHECT Chair & General Manager PepsiCo UK Ian Ellington will also be part of the team.
On the two-day ‘Ride4Sight’, which is sponsored by CooperVision and the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the fundraisers will journey from Vision Express’ headquarters in Ruddington, Nottingham on 13th September to its stores in Hanley, Crewe and Macclesfield. At the stop offs along the way, the riders will be spurred on by local store team members and ambassadors and their families from the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.
The following day, they will return to Nottingham, pausing at the Vision Express Matlock store and the new ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ store in Toton, before crossing the finish line in Ruddington.
Jonathan Lawson said: “Every year we have the ‘Ride4Sight’ it gets bigger and better, and it is really exciting this year to tie our 30th anniversary celebrations into the challenge. Over the past eight years of working with CHECT we’ve looked at new and innovative ways of fundraising and raising the charity’s profile and the ‘Ride4Sight’ is always a great event to do just that. Back in 2016 we raised £27,000 and we can’t wait to embark on our fourth cycle challenge and beat our fundraising target of £30,000 this year.
“Rb Week is the perfect launchpad for ‘Ride4Sight’, as we look to raise awareness of the symptoms of this aggressive eye cancer, and it’s a fantastic way to bring together teams from across our store network and our corporate partners to celebrate our 30 years of trading. The cycle is a real endurance challenge for all involved and it’s great to see so many riders coming back this year to recreate their success from 2016.”
Patrick Tonks, Chief Executive of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, said: “Vision Express continues to be a fantastic supporter of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, and the funds raised through its Ride4Sight cycle challenge will enable us to continue our vital work with those families affected by Rb.”
Vision Express has enjoyed an award-winning partnership with CHECT since 2010, using initiatives to raise awareness of Rb and drive donations for the charity, so they can help more families affected. It was also the first optician in the UK to roll out a protocol to ensure a quick and effective referral if Rb is suspected.
To keep updated with the Ride4Sight cyclists’ progress, follow #Ride4Sight on Twitter. Donations can be made online at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ride4sight2018
About Vision Express
Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.
With almost 600 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.
With around 6,000 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:
- Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
- International Glaucoma Association
- Macular Society
- Stroke Association
- Temple Street University Hospital