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Optical | Health and expertise | Press release | Eye Pod sets sights on nationwide awareness tour and donation drive

Eye Pod sets sights on nationwide awareness tour and donation drive

21 february 2018

Press release

A NATIONWIDE tour of an interactive sight loss simulator funded by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Specsavers, is taking place this month.
Throughout September and during National Eye Health Week, the Specsavers/RNIB Eye Pod will be touring the country to educate the public about the importance of eye health and taking regular sight tests while raising funds for the charity’s work. It comes as research published by RNIB and Specsavers reveals one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime despite at least half of all cases being avoidable[i].
The Eye Pod will demonstrate how the four main eye conditions (age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts) can affect your sight. The trailer has two cameras on top of the pod which link to screens inside where the public can view their surroundings with symptoms of each condition. In each case the experience lasts around one minute, with key facts and statistics about the condition then appearing on the screen. Experts will be on hand throughout the day to offer sight loss advice and free eye test vouchers. 
[SPECSAVERS SPOKESPERSON] says: ‘It’s astonishing that so many people are needlessly living with sight loss in the UK today. At least half of all sight loss cases are avoidable and a simple eye test can unearth a number of serious health conditions. Our mission with RNIB is to transform the nation’s eye health through awareness and action; this is an enormous challenge but we must rise to it together and take action now.’
[RNIB SPOKESPERSON] says: ‘Our report reveals new evidence that one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime, so our work is now more important than ever. Almost 80% of people living with sight loss are over the age of 64, so with an ageing population that is expected to retire later, more of our national workforce will be impacted by sight loss. Alongside rapidly growing demand for eye care services, and capacity problems in some clinics at a time of growing budget deficits, we are facing an extremely challenging time for eye health in the UK, and we  must take action now’
Specsavers began a partnership with RNIB in 2016 with the mission of transforming eye health and communicating the vital importance of regular eye examinations, not just for eyesight but also to detect sight and life threatening conditions.
Tour locations:
Milton Keynes (City Square) 1st September
Windsor (Peascod Street) 8th September
Exeter (Princesshay Square) 11th September
Cardiff (Churchill Way) 12th September
Southampton (Above Bar St) 13th September
Leeds (Albion Street) 19th September
Manchester 21st September
Glasgow (Buchanan Street) 27th September
Newcastle (Grainger Street) 28th September
Chesterfield (New Square) 29th September
Birmingham (Victoria Square) 30th September
For further information on eye health visit https://www.specsavers.co.uk/eye-health

Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers
[i] Access Economics, 2009. Future sight loss UK: The economic impact of partial sight and blindness in the UK adult population. UK: RNIB
Notes to Editors
About Specsavers
  • Specsavers is a partnership of almost 2,000 locally-run businesses throughout the world -all committed to delivering high quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve.
  • Each store is part-owned and managed by its own joint venture partners who are supported by key specialists in support offices
  • More than 36 million customers are registered with Specsavers and the partnership had a turnover of more than £2.2bn in 2016/17
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers
  • Specsavers is a champion of the National Health Service – of its 22.2m customers in the UK, 55% are from the NHS and the company is the largest provider of free NHS digital hearing aids
  • Specsavers supports several UK charities and is in partnership with RNIB for a public awareness campaign to transform the nation’s eye health.
  • Specsavers runs a home-visiting service in the UK and Ireland called Specsavers Healthcall for those who cannot get to their local store unaccompanied. 
About RNIB
  • Every 15 minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight.
  • We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and we're here for everyone affected by sight loss – that's over 2 million people in the UK. If you, or someone you know, has a sight problem, RNIB can help.
  • Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk