Young Ben Johnston from Waringstown and his family have given a heartfelt thanks to Michael Kennedy and the team at Portadown Specsavers for help during the coronavirus situation.

Registered nurse and mum of three, Ciara, says: ‘My ten year old son Ben is ventilated via tracheostomy and a portable ventilator, is a wheelchair user, and myself and husband Andy made the decision to self-shield our family at a much earlier stage to help protect Ben.’

Emergency call for new glasses

‘For everyday living, studying and enjoying life, glasses are of the utmost importance to Ben – he simply can’t do without them. He’d completely broken his specs, and of course, we had no way of getting to the store.’

‘We’ve been customers at Portadown Specsavers for around seven years and optometrist Michael knows Ben and our family very well. We were aware that Specsavers was open for emergency and essential eye care only and made a quick call to the store and Ben’s replacement specs arrived in the post a couple of days later.’

Team are worth their weight in gold

‘They are all so welcoming and supportive, and Michael devotes a lot of time to Ben on each appointment, and if we need help in between appointments they are only a phone call away.’

‘The Specsavers team are really worth their weight in gold and we have very much appreciated their help in these very unusual times but also throughout the years. In these testing times for everyone I felt it was a chance to thank Specsavers as it’s really lovely to know that they are there for us.’

Support for key workers

Retail director, JP Rice, explains: ‘We’ve supported a number of key workers including an ICU doctor who needed new glasses and a nurse who requires contact lenses to do her job. As we are only providing essential and urgent services, we have suspended all routine eye and hearing tests and are urging people to phone our stores in the first instance.’

‘If you are a key worker, please let us know when you call and we’ll prioritise the help we can offer. We would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding and pay tribute to all our staff.’

Urgent and essential eye care only

Specsavers' teams are classed as key workers to provide urgent and essential eye care to those who need it. This includes supporting other key workers who couldn’t function without our help and people who would come to harm without our health expertise, especially where the usual hospital services and NHS facilities are being prioritised for the fight against COVID-19.

All Portadown store information

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