The Eyes the Limit – Valli Opticians launches its ‘1000 Eye Challenge’
Photo caption: Moin Valli with reception class children from Royds Hall Community School and class teacher Lucy Mulvaney.
The eyes the limit for Valli Opticians as it sets itself an ambitious target of providing free vision screening for 1000 reception aged school children by July.
The ‘1000 Eye Challenge’ is the third phase in Valli Opticians’ ‘Children’s Eye Health Matters’ campaign. The initiative was launched last summer when Valli Opticians called for a greater emphasis on children’s eye health to be included in the Personal Child Health Record (commonly known as the ‘red book’). The second phase saw members of the Valli Opticians team delivering talks about eye health to over 4000 school children.
Moin Valli, Managing Director of Valli Opticians, said: “I think there is a misconception that all children have a simple eye test, known as vision screening, when they start school which is paid for by their local authority. But this does not happen in all areas. When we found out that children local to our practices in Huddersfield and Hebden Bridge were among those who do not routinely have their vision-screened we knew we had to do something about it. So, we are offering to go into our local schools, absolutely free of charge, and provide this service ourselves.
“We are a community conscious business and being an integral part of the towns and villages that we serve has always been very important to us. Our ‘1000 Eye Challenge’ is part of that commitment.”
Figures released by the Association of Optometrists revealed that 24% of school age children haven’t been taken for a sight test and 52% of parents think their child will have a full sight test at primary school. Meanwhile 1 in 7 school children have an undiagnosed vision problem which can impact their learning and development.
Moin added: “Vision screening is a fairly quick check of the eye and our advice is that, in addition, children should have regular, full eye examinations at their local opticians. These are a more in-depth investigation of the health of the eye. We recommend that children start having eye examinations at the opticians from the age of three, or sooner if parents suspect there is a problem. Children’s eye examinations are free on the NHS up to the age of 16.”
Last week Moin carried out vision screening of 43 reception aged children at Beech Infants School and Royds Hall Community School in Huddersfield.
Lucy Mulvaney and Chloe Langton, Reception Class Teachers at Royds Hall Community School, agreed that vision screening within the Reception age range is paramount to ensuring all of our children are given the best possible start in life.
Chloe said: “Moin was fantastic with our pupils and his mannerism with the children is exceptional. All of the children were confident to talk about the Optician’s visit and it was a great opportunity for our schools to develop links within the community.”
Valli Opticians’ commitment to family eye care has been recognised nationally as the company has been shortlisted for the Family Optician of the Year in the national Optician Awards 2019. The winner will be announced in March.
To sign Valli Opticians’ Red Book Campaign petition please follow the link https://www.change.org/p/royal-college-of-paediatrics-and-child-health-valli-opticians-red-book-pchr-campaign-to-raise-awareness-about-children-s-eye-health?recruiter=401460996&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_petition