Specsavers Bridlington are investing thousands of pounds in staff development to expand its optical and hearcare offering.

Three members of staff at Specsavers in Bridlington are currently undergoing training to develop their skills and increase services available to their customers.

One team member benefiting from the training is Simon Wood, who has lived in Bridlington all his life. Simon has worked at the Specsavers on King Street for the past eight years.

His first role was as an optical assistant, progressing to a dispensing optician before deciding to go to university, where he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Optometry. Simon is also qualified to dispense low vision spectacles.

He’s now a pre-registration optometrist, working towards completing his assessment year and will sit his final examinations in September, where he hopes to become a fully qualified optician.

The highlight of Simon’s Specsavers career was a trip to Africa with Vision Aid Overseas prior to him reading for his optometry degree. He said: ‘Supporting Vision Aid Overseas in Africa was an amazing experience. I spent two weeks training communities about the importance of eyecare, and would love to go back again once I’ve qualified later this year to help with eye testing.’

Sam Berridge, currently a dispenser at Specsavers in Bridlington, is training to become an audiologist. His 18-month course, which will be completed this year, will enable the store to bolster its hearcare division in the long term. Sam will then undertake another 15 month course with a view to qualifying as an audiologist.

Speaking about his training, Sam said: ‘There’s a big opportunity for hearcare in the area. We’re seeing more and more customers experiencing hearing issues due to headphones, loud music and other causes, so there’s a high demand at the moment. Once I’ve finished my training the store will be able to offer a more enhanced service to customers and be able to offer more hearcare appointments.’

Finally, Joshua O’Sullivan an optical assistant at the store is studying for Certificate 4 in Opthalmic Dispensing. He will be sitting an exam this month to complete this qualification.

Like Simon, his long-term goal is to become an optometrist, which will involve a further five years of studying.

Joshua said: ‘I was ready to take on a new challenge and step up on the training ladder. Specsavers are so supportive; we have mentors that take us through our qualifications and they put time aside for us during our work hours to study. I’m looking forward to continuing to study with Specsavers over the next few years, to reach my goal of becoming a fully-trained optometrist.’

Mark Kunz, store director at Bridlington Specsavers, added: ‘We’re looking forward to being able to offer an even more enhanced service to our customers once Simon, Sam and Joshua have completed their training. However, it’s also great to be able to help staff develop in their careers, which is something that Specsavers is very passionate about. I’d like to wish the boys the best of luck with the remainder of their training.’

The Bridlington Specsavers branch has been serving customers since February 1995 and has offered hearcare services since 2005. 

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