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Dewsbury Pupil Has His Eye Ball

Monday, 19 April 2010



AFTER years of sitting on the sidelines, a Dewsbury schoolboy can now participate in his favourite sports after being fitted with a pair of specialist sports glasses.


Kaylem Widdop, aged seven, was diagnosed with poor eyesight at an early age and has always struggled to play a number of sports, including his favourite game of rugby.


When Kaylem's opticians, Specsavers in Dewsbury, heard of his plight the store staff knew they had to help. They quickly made him a pair of bespoke sports glasses which allow him to fully participate in a whole range of activities.


His new sports glasses, which are fitted with his exact prescription and are shatter proof, will mean he can now play with his local rugby team, Dewsbury Moor Under 8s, and will no longer have to-opt out of PE lessons at school.


Kaylem's father Gary says: 'Kaylem has always loved sport and was upset that he couldn't play properly due to his poor eyesight.


'With his new sports frames Kaylem's really developed as a player - he's now such a strong player that he's started every game for his team!  We're incredibly proud of him and hope that his story will draw attention to the options available to other children with poor eyesight.'


Philip Mokrysz, store director at Specsavers Dewsbury, comments: 'I am so pleased that the sports glasses have helped Kaylem to flourish on the rugby pitch.


'Many glasses wearers are not aware that their optician will have a number of options available to them to continue playing the sports they love and I urge anyone whose eyesight is holding them back from maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle to come into the store to discuss their options.'


Kaylem's mum, Hayley O'Donnell, concludes: 'I would like to thank Dewsbury Specsavers for all their help.  They have transformed Kaylem's life - he's so happy and can't wait for the weekends when he can run onto the rugby pitch.'




Specsavers notes to editors                                                                      March  10                  

  • 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 nearly 1,500 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.4 billion in 2009/10
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the eighth year running by Reader's Digest in 2009
  • Over 70% (4.5m) of all Specsavers eye tests in the UK are NHS-funded.
  • 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 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 stores across Britain raised more than £300,000 in 2009 to fund a dedicated eyecare clinic and teaching facility in Zambia, supported by Vision Aid Overseas. Stores will raise an additional £300,000 to continue the project.



*GfK NOP (Sept 2009)