A Newport optician is in the running for a national Opticians Award.

Russell Ham, who works at the Specsavers store at Austin Friars, is one of just five people from across the UK who have been nominated in the ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year’ category.

‘Icing on the cake’

The winner, who has to demonstrate their knowledge of optics, new trends associated with eye health and how they have supported the professional development of their colleagues, will be named at an award ceremony in Birmingham on Saturday 4 April.

‘Since qualifying as a dispensing optician almost a decade ago, I have constantly challenged myself to provide a multi-discipline approach to helping those with sight loss, through the development of a low-vision clinic and by creating close links with local primary care providers and support groups,’ says Mr Ham.

‘Just being named in the shortlist for one of the UK’s biggest optical award ceremonies is an honour – anything more would be the icing on the cake.’ 

No stranger to success

Mr Ham is no stranger to award success, receiving a five-star award from the Wales Council for the Blind and being named ‘Optician of the Year’ at the Macular Society’s Awards for Excellence in 2017. He has also been shortlisted for several other awards, including the South Wales Argus Health and Care Awards.

Jason Williams, director of Specsavers Newport, adds: ‘It comes as no surprise to me that Russell has been highlighted with another award nomination. He exemplifies the hard-working ethic of our staff, and we have been able to create one of the largest low vision clinics in Wales thanks to his skills and expertise. Russell has also trained a number of junior staff to ensure our low vision services can continue to thrive and grow.

‘We wish Russell the best of luck at the ceremony as he flies the flag for optical excellence in Newport.’

All Specsavers Newport information

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