An optician from Newport has been shortlisted for a top national award for the second time following high praise from his patients.

National award nomination

Russell Ham is one of the nominees for this year’s Macular Society Awards for Excellence. Russell, a dispensing optician based at Specsavers store in Newport city centre, has been shortlisted in the Optician or Optometrist of the Year category for his exceptionally good practice in the care of people with macular disease. It’s the second time Russell has been shortlisted for the award, previously winning in the same category back in 2017.

Alongside his work at Specsavers, Russell is also a Low Vision Service Wales-accredited practitioner, spending up to three days a week visiting patients all over the south eastern corner of Wales in their own homes.

In addition to his previous Award for Excellence from the Macular Society, Russell is also a past finalist at the Opticians Award and a former recipient of a five-star service award from Wales Council for the Blind.

A career boost

Russell says: ‘It was great to hear that I’d been nominated again for an Award for Excellence. When I won the Optician or Optometrist of the Year award two years ago, it really gave my career a boost and raised my profile.

‘I never tire of being able to make a difference; that feeling never gets old. Even the smallest of improvements can have such a big impact on someone’s life if they have macular disease, and that’s why I find what I do so fantastically rewarding.’

Russell will find out later this month whether he has once again been chosen as one of the winners. If successful, Russell will be presented with his award at the Macular Society’s national annual conference, which takes place at the Leonardo Royal London Tower Bridge Hotel in London, on Saturday 21 September.

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