Danielle Penney (22) from Ballymena, is following closely in her mother’s footsteps having graduated last week with a BSc in Optometry from Cardiff University. Mum, Valerie, who is a Specsavers store director in Fairhill Shopping Centre, also qualified in optometry from Cardiff some 30 years ago.

Interest in eyecare

Danielle, who is a former pupil of Ballymena Academy and Rainey Endowed, explained: ‘I’ve always been interested in science and the eye from a young age and as a student I worked in the Ballymena Specsavers store. What convinced me that optometry was the right career for me was seeing how much my mum loved the job and seeing patients coming back every two years especially to see her.

Mum studied optometry at Cardiff and it became an ambition then to follow in her footsteps. I was delighted to graduate last week after three years study and I’ve been lucky enough to secure a pre-registration position in Specsavers in Bournemouth which I’ve just started.’

Career in optometry

Valerie Penney added: ‘Naturally I’m very proud of Danielle and of what she has achieved. Optometry is a fabulous career offering great opportunities to young people prepared to work hard and aim high. Having worked myself with Specsavers for over 20 years, I know that Danielle is at the beginning of a very exciting professional journey and who knows, she may well have her own Specsavers store in the not too distant future.’

All Ballymena store information