A 28-year-old Blackwood man has become director of his local Specsavers store a decade after starting there as a part-time assistant.

Moving up the ranks

James Morris, from Blackwood, joins existing directors, Jonathan Evans and Vincent Welsh, to run the 22-person team at the High Street store.

He started working there while studying optometry at Cardiff University and, after graduating and completing his pre-registration training to become an optometrist, moved up through the ranks to become lead optometrist in 2016. Mr Morris has since completed Specsavers’ pathway programme, which allows staff to work their way up to director level.

‘When I joined 10 years ago, Jonathan was the sole director of the store,’ he says. ‘Despite this responsibility, he always took the time to look after me and help me develop my skills. Without his support and the help of the team, I would have never been able to reach this point.’

Mr Morris’ promotion and 10-year anniversary follows a successful 2018, which saw his co-directors, Mr Evans and Mr Welsh, both celebrate 20 years’ service in-store.

‘New beginnings’

‘As we enter a new year I’m looking forward to my own new beginnings,’ adds Mr Morris. ‘Ensuring the whole team is happy and has opportunities to develop as I did remains extremely important to me, alongside ensuring that our local customers have the very best experience each time they come to our store.’

Speaking about Mr Morris’ new role as director, Mr Evans adds: ‘It’s been a pleasure to witness James’ professional development. It’s a testament to his dedication and the support he enjoys from his peers that he has been able to reach such a position at a relatively young age.

‘I have every belief that James will continue to develop and grow in this role, and have a positive impact on the rest of the team and our customers as a result.’

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