Connect with us

Lifestyle

Inspirational seven-year-old cancer survivor from Crawley is guest of honour at new store opening

A brave youngster who has battled a rare eye cancer helped Vision Express to re-open its East Grinstead store – raising awareness of an aggressive condition called retinoblastoma.

Published

on

Alicia Ferriera, centre with mum Laura, officially open the East Grinstead Vision Express store, with from left: Dispensing optician Jody Lewis, optical assistant Dan Morrissey, Monica Kalsi, optometrist and store manager Paul Lyne.

Alicia Ferriera, seven, from Crawley, West Sussex, was aged just two when she was diagnosed with the devastating condition, and had to have an eye removed as part of her cancer treatment.

Alicia Ferriera at the East Grinstead store.

Alicia was accompanied by her mother Laura Belton, to officially cut the ribbon at the Vision Express store in East Grinstead, West Sussex this month, as special guests from the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, which is a charity partner of Vision Express.

Mum Laura said:

“We found out that Alicia only had retinoblastoma in one eye and it wasn’t genetic. It all happened very quickly – she had the operation just a week after initial diagnosis.”

Since having her eye removed, the family have kept up regular appointments at The Royal London Hospital, initially every couple of months to now once a year for check-ups.

Laura said:

“Alicia is doing amazingly well and is just like other child at her age. She’s been doing karate for a year and a half now and is doing so well with it. She enjoys lots of walks, adventures and park trips and we’ve recently been to Cornwall where she was at the beach every day. Nothing will stop this girl!”

The ribbon cutting led by Alicia and Laura celebrated the Vision Express store’s recent extensive refit and marked the optician officially open to the public – in the same convenient location in London Road.

Vision Express East Grinstead store manager Paul Lyne added:

“It was brilliant to have Alicia and her mother Laura join us to officially declare our new store open. Her story of battling retinoblastoma, and the courage shown at such a young age, is an inspiration to us all.

“We’re proud to support the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust and we urge any parents that suspect retinoblastoma or notice any potential symptoms in their child, such as a white glow in their eye in certain lighting conditions or a squint, to visit their local opticians or GP.”

Business

BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

Published

on

It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

Continue Reading

Trending