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Picture this: National Eye Health Week in 2015.

The organisers of NEHW have announced its merger with the Eyecare Trust (20 June). Together the organisations will now be known as Eye Health UK.

Speaking to OT about the decision to join forces, chair of NEHW, David Cartwright, explained: "When our coming together was first discussed, it was clear from both parties' perspectives that it was the right thing to do in order to try and get the whole of the industry behind a generic, all-year-round eye health campaign."

Launched in 2009, NEHW was established with the aim of encouraging people to have an increased awareness about the importance of regular sight tests and how lifestyle habits can affect eye health. Having grown immensely, in 2015 more than 2500 opticians, pharmacies, GPs, charities, schools and businesses took part in the initiative.

Having joined forces, Mr Cartwright is excited about the potential for enhancing and extending the work of NEHW under Eye Health UK.

Speaking about what he hopes the new organisation will achieve over the next 12 months, Mr Cartwright said: "For now, our focus will still be 70% on NEHW and 30% on other activities. But as time goes on I'd certainly like to see this balance change as our work outside of the week begins to grow."

Emphasising the importance of being able to share an eye health message all year round, Mr Cartwright said: "As with all forms of communication, when you do something regularly more people see it and there are more opportunities for people to pay attention to it and take action."

Picture this: National Eye Health Week in 2015

2500

PEOPLE SUPPORTED NEHW BY HOSTING EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES DURING THE WEEK

748

pieces of media coverage generated

1.5m

ADULTS SAID THEY WERE ENCOURAGED TO BOOK A SIGHT TEST AFTER NEHW

25 million

Social media activity had a reach of over

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Title Annotation:THIS MONTH; Eyecare Trust
Publication:Optometry Today
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 1, 2016
Words:308
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