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20|20 vision to celebrate the new decade.

Optical Express rewards local police officer with free laser eye surgery

Matthew Charlesworth, a Police Constable from Chesterfield, is set to start the new decade with 20|20 vision after receiving free laser eye surgery as part of our Thanks a Million campaign.

Matthew was first diagnosed with short sight problems at age 11, worsening throughout his teen years. At just 16 he became reliant on contact lenses to help with his sight.

Wearing contact lenses on 12-hour night shifts, often in unpredictable weather, meant that Matthew’s eyes would regularly dry up. On days when he couldn’t wear his contact lenses, extremely strong prescription glasses were his only option.  

Matthew reported of an incident which left his glasses smashed after he was head butted by a suspect at work. He said: “I appeared much more vulnerable when wearing my glasses. It is situations like that which make you realise just how important eyesight is.”

After such a long battle with his sight, Matthew applied for our Thanks a Million campaign which seeks to reward NHS and emergency service workers in the UK.

Following his successful application, Matthew no longer depends on contact lenses, giving him a new found sense of freedom. Commenting on his new 20|20 vision, Matthew said: “I feel much more confident both professionally and personally since my surgery. When I first woke up with clear vision, I realised how much I had been missing out on.”

What’s more, since undergoing laser eye surgery, Matthew no longer has to worry about hefty monthly contact lens bills.

This year, Matthew will be able to enjoy his summer holiday without having to worry about the dangers of swimming without contact lenses and the effects of harsh wind on his eyes.

Following a survey of members of the British public, the Thanks a Million campaign rewarded free laser eye surgery to deserving members of the NHS and emergency service workers because the survey found that they are the most deserving of thanks. 

Chairman and CEO, David Moulsdale said: “Our Thanks a Million campaign is our way of giving back to the hardworking people of our NHS and emergency services. We are thrilled to hear that laser eye surgery has positively transformed Matthews’ personal and professional life.”  

“Not only will Matthew be able to enjoy visual freedom without the use of his glasses and contact lenses, he has also done his part to help the environment. Contact lenses are considered single use plastics which are having a huge, but often overlooked, impact on the environment. New figures from Optical Express, suggest that over 750 million plastic lenses are being flushed down the drain or put in landfill every year1. These lenses form microplastics, pollute the oceans and endanger marine life. Laser eye surgery is an alternative option to vastly reduce waste caused by these single-use plastics.”


1 Optical Express HLQ, 2016 ABDO statistic