25th July 2018

Specsavers sets sights on improving lung cancer awareness

View all Press releases

Specsavers staff across Scotland are pledging their support to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and raising awareness about lung cancer by running a country-wide fundraiser in memory of their colleague, Tom Simpson.

Tom, a director at the company, passed away from lung cancer. He was just 48 years old and a non-smoker.

Tom, from Stonehaven, was initially given 12 months to live. However, thanks to the advancement of treatments, his own steely determination and the support of his wife, Jan, and two children, Camille (15) and Blake (11), he lived with the disease for four years before sadly passing away in March this year.

Tom with his daughter, Camille, on the set of our HeadHigh campaign

Stores across Scotland will each donate £1 per sight test from 15th – 22nd July as well as holding many other fundraising initiatives including bake sales, specs repaired and sponsored activities, with all donations going to the UK’s only lung cancer charity.

Tom was not what many people consider to be a ‘typical’ lung cancer patients. Paula Chadwick, CEO of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, hopes the event will open people’s eyes to this awful disease:

“Contrary to many people’s assumptions, lung cancer is a disease which can affect anyone – men and women, young and old, smoker and non-smoker. Sadly, Tom is a stark reminder of this.

“We worked closely with Tom throughout his diagnosis. He was desperate to raise awareness of lung cancer and challenge the lack of research funding. He and his daughter, Camille, were part of our #HeadHigh campaign last November. His unwavering determination and attitude was an inspiration to us all.”

Jill McArthur, Chairperson for Specsavers in Scotland, comments:

“Supporting Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is Specsavers’ way of acknowledging the support the charity has shown to our colleague Tom.

Tom was truly inspiring in everything he did. He took his story and message all the way to the Houses of Parliament and the European Parliament, working with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and Lung Cancer Europe, in a bid to ensure more people survive lung cancer. This is why we feel Tom’s Day is a fitting tribute.

Paula Chadwick, CEO of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

“We want to continue to incredible work Tom began by using our platform as a company to raise awareness and funds for a lung cancer charity which was very close to Tom’s heart.”

Paula concludes:

“We are delighted that Specsavers has chosen to work with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation as every penny raised will help improve the lives of others living with lung cancer.

As the UK’s only charity wholly dedicated to beating lung cancer, we very much welcome campaigns such as this, as it enables us to help those affected by lung cancer and fund research to, potentially, save those diagnosed in the future. It also raises awareness of the disease itself, dispelling myths and the associated stigma.”