The Hexham store has marked its 25th anniversary while supporting the local community during coronavirus lockdown.


Birthday plans for the Fore Street store were turned on their head due to social distancing measures and the store being closed for all but emergency and essential eye care.


However, store director Julie Hall, who has worked at Specsavers in Hexham for a decade this year, was proud to mark the occasion with colleagues during what has otherwise been a very challenging time.


A word from the store director:


Julie says: ‘It was not how we expected to spend our 25th anniversary, however, we are delighted to have reached this fantastic milestone.


‘Over the last 25 years, our store has gone above and beyond to support the local community, raising funds for a number of charities and various causes, including the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Guide Dogs for the Blind, Vision Aid Overseas (VAO), Brain Tumour Research and more.


‘The current climate is very challenging indeed, but this has not affected our commitment to helping local people. We have been working round the clock to ensure that we are here to help those who may need us - answering calls and helping patients through telephone consultations, while also carrying out repairs and delivering to people’s doorsteps, in line with social distancing rules.’


During lockdown, Julie and her team provided vital care to local frontline staff and key workers, including supermarket staff and delivery drivers in need of new glasses. Staff were also on hand to carry out visual field tests for several local people who had signed up to be ambulance drivers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.


Julie added: ‘The pandemic has changed how everyone operates on a day-to-day basis, but looking after the town’s eye health has remained a top priority for us. I’m delighted that we are now able to start seeing more customers in store with the easing of lockdown restrictions in England.’