A dispensing optician is in the running to win a national award for the second year in a row.

Russell Ham, who works at the Austin Friars store, is looking to retain his title as ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year’ at the 2018 Opticians Awards, which were established more than 20 years ago to recognise excellence in the optical community.

Humbled to be shortlisted

Mr Ham, who is one of three finalists in the category this year, scooped the title in 2017 for his excellent communication and dispensing skills. He also won the Optician of the Year award at the Macular Society Awards for Excellence in 2017, and was also the only optician in Wales to receive a ‘five-star award’ from the Wales Council for the Blind.

Reacting to his shortlisting, Mr Ham says: ‘Winning this award last year was a career highlight and to find myself shortlisted again is extremely humbling. I thoroughly enjoy my job and always strive to provide high levels of support for my customers - to have that recognised is wonderful.’

Going above and beyond

Craig MacKenzie, store director, adds: ‘We are incredibly proud of Russell. Not only is he committed to providing support and care for those with age-related vision loss, but he’s also a pleasure to work with.

‘Russell continuously goes above and beyond to contribute to the success of our low-vision centre, providing customers with the highest standard of care, and we wish him the best of luck with this latest award.’

The winners of the Opticians Awards 2018 will be unveiled at a gala dinner and ceremony in Birmingham on 14 April.

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