Specavers in Canvey Island has been joined by new audiology director Matthew Dargie.

Matthew was originally born in Glasgow and attended Stirling University, where he read law and accountancy. After graduation he worked as a chartered accountant before retraining as a hearing aid audiologist (HAA) in 2016.

The 31-year-old decided to change careers after frustrations with his own experience of audiolgy services. He said: ‘At the age of 12 I completely lost my hearing and year later I regained partial hearing in my left ear only. A few years ago I had a problem when my hearing aid stopped working and unfortunately discovered there were very few appointments available in the public sector, which made it difficult to continue life as normal.

‘I tried the private sector and found that the service was not what I had hoped, so I decided to do a conversion course in the field of audiology, to try and make a difference.’

Retrained in audiology

In 2017 Matthew qualified and discovered the Specsavers’ Pathway course run by Specsavers, which allows professionals to work their way to a directorship.

Matthew added: ‘After working as a hearing aid audiologist at the store in Brighton I was later approached by Essex-based store directors Lee and Alan, along with the regional relationship manager Roy, who wanted to expand the audiology services at their stores, so I started at the end of last year. They have been a huge support along with the managers at the stores.’

Helping nearly 1,000 more people

Being a Hearing Hub means that Specsavers in Basildon and the attached stores have been able to expand their hearing clinics by over 200 per cent, helping nearly 1,000 people more per year.

Matthew enjoys the direct relationship he has with customers and hearing their life stories, as well as being able to help people whose problems he understands personally. He plans on extending the audiology offer across the stores he is the director of, which include Basildon, Wickford, Canvey Island and Upminster, bringing in new staff, supporting trainees and changing the way we think about hearing aids.

He said: ‘People spend a long time thinking about their glasses – what frames to buy and what fits best – it’s time we starting thinking the same way about our hearing aids.’

In his spare time Matthew enjoys golf, skiing, football, going to the gym and spending time back in Brighton with his girlfriend Axelle.

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