Vision Express Opticians - Vision taken seriously

The Vision Van

The Vision Van is a mobile, high-tech testing unit which allows us to take our expertise into local communities. For the last three year it has offered free eye tests to residents in areas of the UK and Ireland most affected by poor eye health.

Outings for the Vision Van coincide with health awareness events, including National Eye Health Week, Macular Week and World Glaucoma Week. We also work in close collaboration with organisations such as Public Health England, and with our charitable partners the Macular Society, Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, International Glaucoma Association, Stroke Association and Brake road safety.

In 2016, one in seven people tested were advised to seek medical attention for suspected squints or glaucoma - the highest number of referrals to date. More than half of the hundreds of people we saw had an out-of-date prescription, or had not had their vision tested in over five years. Without the Vision Van, we would not have been able to reach them.

Our Vision Van initiative has been recognised at a national level, gaining a commendation in the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s 2017 awards for Corporate Social Responsibility. It was also highly commended in the 2017 Corporate Engagement Awards, in the category Best Alignment of Brand Values During a CSR Programme.

Charitable Partnerships

We currently work with six partner charities, whose causes we support through campaigns and activities which aim to raise awareness of important issues - whether related to eye health or helping to deliver value within local communities.

You can find out more about our work with these charities by clicking the links below:

Using our Voice

Putting Eye Health on the Political Agenda

Campaigning for change wherever appropriate, we use our voice to highlight issues that have an impact on the nation’s eye health, with road safety being one of our priorities. In 2015, this saw us launch our ‘Eye Tests Save Lives’ campaign, designed to raise awareness of how maintaining good eye health can make the UK’s roads a safer place to be.

Since 2015 we have been lobbying the UK government to take action regarding the important part eye tests can play in reducing road accidents and fatalities. Our primary focus in this is to promote the use of ‘Eye Tests Save Lives’ signs, displayed across major highways. We were successful in doing so in Scotland in 2015 and in both Scotland and Wales in 2016.

Research we commissioned in 2016 showed worryingly low levels of drivers seeking regular eye tests. We also shared the story of Brenda Gutberlet, whose niece, Natalie Wade, died after being hit by a partially sighted driver as she walked across a pedestrian crossing. Our campaign attracted the support of Brenda, as well as several MPs, one of whom tabled a debate in Westminster about road safety and accident prevention.

Driving Change

With sights set on making UK roads safer, we joined forces with the Road Haulage Association in 2015 for a healthcare initiative backed by road safety charity, Brake.

As part of the initiative, we put our Vision Van on the road and offered free eye tests to both private and professional drivers during Road Safety Week - stopping at five service stations and truck stops across the country. Of those examined, one in five were referred to their GPs for further tests, while 72% needed a new prescription.