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Yorkshire Lads Eye Up Death March Challenge

Monday, 22 March 2010

A LEEDS opticians is urging local residents to get behind two Yorkshire lads who are taking on one of the most gruelling UK-based charity challenges.


Specsavers in Leeds is lending its support to pro squash player Ian Woodhead and personal fitness instructor Gary Bartle, who are undertaking the inaugural Great Glen Death March - a 100 kilometre (62.5 miles), unsupported run across the Great Glen Way in Scotland, to be completed in less than 24 hours.


The terrific twosome will start their ultimate challenge on Saturday 3 April, racing through the night from Banavie in the west of Scotland to Inverness in the east, tackling everything that the remote mountainous region can throw at them, all in aid of Cancer Research UK and Help for Heroes.


The Albion Street store is backing the boys with £500 in sponsorship, and is calling on local people to help it boost this total by making donations in store or at www.justgiving.com/ian-woodhead or http://www.justgiving.com/gary-bartlet.


Store director David Keough comments: 'This is a truly gruelling task even for two fit individuals such as Ian and Gary.  Nor only will they be covering 100 kilometres of hilly terrain in less than 24 hours but they will be running unsupported, carrying everything they will need such as water, food and clothing, on their backs.


'In addition to our sponsorship, we're hoping that Leeds' shoppers will drop into store and lend the lads their support as every penny raised will make a very real difference.'





Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers Opticians Leeds www.specsavers.co.uk/leeds




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)