Rob tackles gruelling ride for children’s charity

S13390809x Rob Eatwell at Vision Express Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb

S13390809x Rob Eatwell at Vision Express Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb

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Local resident and staff member at Vision Express Horsham is limbering up for a gruelling physical challenge to raise money for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT).

Rob Eatwell will tackle a 200 mile, three day bike ride next month, as Vision Express marks 25 years of trading by bringing together more than 4,000 employees across its 330-strong store network to raise money for its nominated charity.

Rob from Horsham has teamed up alongside approximately 40 Vision Express volunteers currently undergoing a strict training regime to prepare them to cycle from the company’s very first store, which opened in Gateshead in 1988, to the retailer’s Nottingham-based head office.

Four-time former Olympic cycling medallist Bryan Steel is helping train the team for the ‘Ride4Sight’ challenge, and will head up the cycle alongside Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson. Paralympian and CHECT patron Darren Harris will also participate, riding on a tandem bike with Bryan Steel.

As well as Rob, cyclists will include staff from Vision Express stores in Scunthorpe, Salisbury, Buchanan, Hinckley, Farnham, Telford, Basingstoke, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Bude, plus volunteers based at the Vision Express Nottingham head office.

Sponsored by adaptive lens-maker Transitions Optical, the ‘Ride4Sight’ will begin from the Vision Express store in the Metro Centre, Gateshead on October 11 and will visit York and West Bridgford stores on the journey south. Family and supporters of the cyclists will join the ride for the final leg across the 2.5 kilometre cycle path, before crossing the finish line at the Vision Express support office in Lenton, Nottinghamshire, on October 13, 2013.

Giving starter’s orders will be a handful of employees who are also celebrating almost 25 years of service to the company, since being part of the store team in Gateshead.

The cycle will be the pinnacle of the retailer’s 25 year celebrations, with stores nationwide marking the milestone with their own charity feats and fundraisers throughout September and early October.

Vision Express Horsham store manager Emma Beckford said: “We’re extremely proud of Rob for taking on a huge endurance challenge, for what is such a worthy cause and we hope local residents will show their support too.”

As part of the company’s 25th celebrations, the store will also be holding a raffle in store from Monday October 7 to Saturday October 12:

1st prize – A pair of Oakley Sunglasses from our in store range.

2nd prize – A voucher for £50 off in store on any product plus cleaning pack.

3rd prize – A voucher for £50 off in store on any product.

Tickets are £1 each with all proceeds going to CHECT.

CHECT is a charity helping families and individuals affected by a rare form of childhood eye cancer called retinoblastoma. Chief executive Joy Felgate said: “The funds raised through the partnership between Vision Express and the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust during the 25 year celebrations will help ensure that when a parent’s worst nightmare is realised and they are told the devastating news that their child has eye cancer, they do not have to face this on their own.

“CHECT provides a comprehensive, life-long support service from the point of diagnosis of the child. We also campaign to raise vital awareness of the signs of the condition and fund ground-breaking research projects that will benefit children in the future. We are extremely grateful for everything Vision Express does to help us educate others about this life-threatening condition and to raise much-needed funds to enable us to continue this vital work.”

To support the Vision Express ‘Ride4Sight’ challenge visit: http://www.justgiving.com/VisionExpressBikeRide.