Volunteers from Vision Express support centre and stores across the country took part in a gruelling 200-mile cycle challenge called Ride4Sight, and raised £25,000 to help families affected by retinoblastoma.

Back for a third year, the two-day Ride4Sight began in Newport on Friday morning and finished in Ruddington, Nottingham, on Saturday afternoon.

Some of our fabulous young CHECT ambassadors and their families joined the cyclists at stops along the way, to offer support and help boost the team’s morale.

Katie Boyce, eight, from Newhall, greeted the team at the Ashby store. She said: “I was really excited to welcome the riders. The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust has been there to support me ever since I was first diagnosed so I’m really pleased I was given the opportunity to help out in this way. I’m just glad I had the easy job!”

‘A fantastic success’

More than 35 Vision Express employees completed the feat, including Nottingham’s four-time Olympic cycling medallist Bryan Steel, riding tandem with CHECT patron and Paralympian Darren Harris and Ian Ellington, our chairman.

Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson, who also participated in the fundraiser, said: “The Ride4Sight was a fantastic success, bringing together teams from across our store network to support the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust. The volunteers who stepped up to do this for 2016 aren’t professional cyclists, so for many it’s a personal challenge, undertaking what was the toughest route yet.

“Helping families affected by such a devastating condition is a cause close to our hearts and we’re thrilled we managed to beat our fundraising target.”

CHECT Chairman Ian Ellington, whose son Tom greeted cyclists at the end of the event, said: “The funds raised from the Ride4Sight 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 lifelong support to those affected, as well as funding ground-breaking research projects that will benefit children in the future. We are very grateful to Vision Express for helping us to educate others about this life-threatening condition and to raise much-needed funds to enable this vital work to continue.”

CHECT has enjoyed an award-winning partnership with Vision Express since 2010 and its employees and customers have raised around £300,000. We are extremely grateful for their support.

Thank you to all of our ambassadors and their families who got involved in the weekend and helped to make it even more special: Angharad Price, Esme Davies, Katie Boyce, Katie Lolley and Tom Ellington.