The Mayor of Barnstaple Cllr Julie Hunt joined forces with staff and customers to officially open the new hearing hub at the town’s Specsavers store. The event marked the creation of dedicated testing rooms offering hearing care throughout the week, while the store also welcomed the arrival of new hearing director, Frank Holden.

Hearing dogs support

As well as cutting the ribbon and cake, the Mayor joined staff to help raise awareness of fundraising in aid of the local hearing dogs charity.

Cllr Mrs Julie Hunt says: ‘The introduction of this new facility is great news for the local community and highlights the importance of keeping a check on your hearing as well as your eye sight. I have been shown how easy it is to get tested and hope that this will raise awareness.’

Expert team

Frank Holden said: ‘I am delighted to be taking on this new role. I started my career in audiology and hearcare with the NHS in Plymouth - my home city - way back in 1978. Since then I have enjoyed a vast range of roles in both NHS and private settings including teaching in the UK and abroad. I have completed balance and tinnitus studies and worked with hearing services in both adult and paediatric settings. ‘I am really looking forward to developing the Specsavers Hearcare service and ethos in the North Devon area. I am also excited to be working with a team that is so passionate about delivering a quality service to the local community.’

Nicola Bedford, hearing aid dispenser, said: ‘I originally joined Specsavers as an optical assistant in 2013. After a year I was given the opportunity to develop a career within Specsavers Hearcare, an opening which I took on with enthusiasm and went on to complete my University Certificates as a healthcare assistant. I continued my education through FDSc at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge where I achieved my Register Hearing Aid Dispenser status in July of 2017.’

A word from the store

Emily Waters, Barnstaple optical director, said: ‘We are very excited about our hear care hub services. We are also delighted to welcome our new hearing director Frank Holden and hear care technician Nicola to the team. This development will continue our commitment to providing a complete hear care and optical service to our customers.’

All Barnstaple store information