When the story of senior nurse being burgled after a long hospital shift broke, local businesses and the community stepped in to help Sarah Banks replace stolen items.

Specsavers on the High Street helped Sarah with some replacement specs. Her story captured the imagination of the company and has now been selected to feature in a new national TV advert for Specsavers.

The ad, We Were There, premiered on ITV1 on Saturday 13 June during Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow. It tells the story of store colleagues and some of their customers during lockdown when their doors were closed apart from offering urgent and essential care.

Mark Gibson, Specsavers Bromsgrove store director, said: ‘Like so many in the local community, we really wanted to help when we heard what had happened to Sarah. Once we had organised the new specs, we arranged contact-free delivery – she had so much going on, we just wanted to make life a little easier.

‘It’s fabulous that Sarah will be featured in the new advert and the team are excited to see it on TV.’

Sarah Banks, a Liver Transplant Co-ordinator at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham who was redeployed during the pandemic to work in ITU, was targeted by thieves after a long shift caring for Coronavirus patients. When she woke and found her car and handbag had been stolen, she also realised this meant her glasses were gone and so her ability to continue caring for those on the ITU ward was in jeopardy.

On the support from Specsavers and her local community, Sarah said; ‘It’s been incredibly heartwarming to receive so much support from total strangers. This is such a difficult time for anyone on the front line in the NHS and beyond, and being burgled is a horrible experience, so it has meant a lot that people have wanted to help.

‘I was quite surprised when Specsavers asked me to be part of its next TV advert but it’s great to be involved and is definitely a story to tell some of my patients on the ward.’

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 their help and people who would come to harm without their health expertise, especially where the usual hospital services and NHS facilities are being prioritised for the fight against COVID-19.

All Bromsgrove store information 

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