Updated: Wednesday, 26th February 2020 @ 2:34pm

'Safeguard your sight': Vision van brings free eye tests to Piccadilly Gardens

'Safeguard your sight': Vision van brings free eye tests to Piccadilly Gardens

| By Andy Donley

Optical health in Manchester is amongst the lowest in the country according to new statistics – but Vision Express is hoping to rectify that by offering free eye tests from their ‘Vision Van’ in the city centre.

Heavy smoking, poor dietary habits and a prevalence of strokes that ranks in the top five in the country all contribute to Manchester’s eyesight issues.

Vision Express are also offering free health tests in their centres until the end of October, and company CEO Jonathan Lawson is hopeful that the initiative can encourage people to be more proactive regarding their health.

He said: “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. 

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

“Research shows that 37% of people 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 and particularly in Manchester.

“The Vision Van was debuted last year, providing a mobile eye examination unit which allowed us to take the eye test to those people who needed it the most.

 “A significant 85% of people tested on the Vision Van in 2014 required a new prescription, and one in ten were referred to a GP.”

The Vision Express ‘Vision Van’ will be touring the country during National Eye Health Week, from 21-27 September, and will also visit London, Bournemouth, Cardiff and Hull.

The van will be in Manchester from 10am to 5pm on Friday 25, and will be based at Piccadilly Gardens.

Image courtesy of Vision Express, via Youtube, with thanks.