A member of the team at Coalville Specsavers is retiring after 21 years of service having started at the store shortly after it opened. 

‘I had my eyes tested and they haven’t got rid of me yet!​'

Catherine Hawes, a dispensing assistant at the store started work in February 1995. She originally worked in administration before moving to the shop floor and helping countless customers select their eyewear, always with a smile and a kind word.

Speaking of her time at the store, Catherine said: ‘I had my eyes tested and they haven’t got rid of me yet! It’s been fantastic working with the people here – it’s a really close-knit team and we always try to have fun. Around 20 of us will be going out for a meal to celebrate my retirement and those who can’t make it will be joining me for a few drinks at a later date.’

Change and growth

The store has seen some changes in Catherine’s time, now offering the Specsavers Digital Precision Eyecare service using iPads to compare styles and take accurate measurements for a comfortable fit. When she started, there was one computer in the back office, and that was it. ‘I was against them at first, but the advances in technology do make things much more efficient, and the latest developments really do provide a better experience for customers.’

'A fantastic member of the team'

Store director Shailan Ruparelia wishes Catherine all the best: ‘We are all sorry to see Catherine go, but we’ll keep in touch. She’s been a fantastic member of the team, and her experience and commitment to Specsavers has been a great example to new staff members. We wish her all the best with her well-deserved retirement.’ 

Catherine plans to travel more in her retirement and with family in Ireland and Australia, there’s always an excuse for a trip. ‘My husband has already started planning a holiday to see our son in Sydney next year. We have a two year old grandson there so we’ll take every opportunity to visit. I’m sure that the fact that The Ashes is taking place at the same time has nothing to do with it!’

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