Opticians Urges Schools To Be Seen Be Safe

Monday, 23 May 2011

CHILDREN at Cathcart Street Primary School in Birkenhead will now be safer when out and about thanks to a local opticians.

To mark Walk to School Week, which ran from Monday 16 until Friday 20 May, Specsavers in Birkenhead donated a number of high-visibility jackets as part of the store's Be Seen, Be Safe initiative, which sets to increase the safety of local children while they are walking to school.

A survey by Specsavers stores in the Wirral last year found that one in eight drivers using local roads are making them more hazardous by driving with poor eyesight. They were unable to read a car number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres - as required in the standard driving test.

The high-visibility jackets scheme was launched during Walk to School Week to ensure that pupils are seen while they are walking to school or out on school trips.

Specsavers store director Ken Roberts, explains: 'Several colleagues are parents and we were aware that some schools in the area had been encouraging the use of high-visibility jackets for group outings or walking bus schemes.

'With this in mind, we wanted to help increase the safety of children in Birkenhead by offering Cathcart Street Primary School free high-visibility vests. 

'As part of the initiative, we are also hoping to raise awareness of free glasses and eye tests that are available to under 16's.

'Vision has a huge impact on how we learn and during the first 12 years of our lives, as much as 80% of learning is achieved through our eyes so it is important to make sure that children have regular eye tests.'

Cathcart Street Primary School headteacher Rosemary Bishop says: 'We are pleased to be recipients of the Specsavers Be Seen, Be Safe vests to enable us to increase the safety of our pupils. 

'The jackets will help us to ensure that every pupil will be visible to motorists when they are outside the school grounds.'

To find out more or to book an appointment for an eye test call Specsavers in Birkenhead on 0151 650 1666 or drop into the store within the Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre.



Specsavers notes to editors                       

  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world
  • The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has more than 1,500 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.36 billion for 2009/10 and is forecast to reach £1.55 billion in 2010/11.
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners. Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the ninth year running by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey 2010
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers * - 9,700,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2009
  • Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK *
  • Over 70% (4.5m) of all Specsavers eye tests in the UK are NHS-funded.
  • Specsavers share by volume of the total optical market (including retailers that are not opticians) is 34%. Our share of the opticians market is 39%.*
  • Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world
  • Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from more than 400 locations
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. During its three-year support for Diabetes UK it raised more than £250,000 to fund research into diabetic retinopathy
  • Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries. Specsavers has raised over £370,000 for the charity since 2006, with almost £245,000 going towards its work in Zambia.