Two staff members from Specsavers in North Shields are celebrating impressive career achievements.

Eddie O’Gara has returned to the team as store director and Louise Thompson, who joined the store as a school leaver, has completed her degree to become a fully qualified dispensing optician.

More about Eddie

Originally from Ireland, Eddie first joined the North Shields store some 12 years ago and left to travel and gain wider experience in different aspects of optometry.

Eddie said: ‘I fell in love with North Shields when I first arrived from Ireland. I joined Specsavers and really enjoyed working here and living here – I’m a keen golfer and kite-surfer and my playground is on my doorstep.

‘I was then fortunate to have the chance to travel and when I returned to the UK I worked to gain wider experience in the profession. When the opportunity came up for me to take up a role as store director at North Shields I leaped at the chance!’

Eddie’s particular passion in his work is to support the development of his team – so he was delighted when his colleague Louise Thompson recently graduated as a fully qualified dispensing optician.

More about Louise

Louise, 27 is also celebrating after soaring up the ranks. She worked full-time at North Shields whilst studying for her Foundation Degree in Sciences. She began her career in the store after leaving school and took the opportunity to gain her qualification through Specsavers.

Louise said: ‘I joined Specsavers when I was just 18 and have worked in a number of roles. I felt now was the right time to take advantage of the fantastic further education opportunities and support that working with Specsavers offers. I attended Anglia University for three days every three months as part of my studies and completed the rest in my spare time.

‘Learning on the job was much easier than sitting in a classroom and I loved being able to apply my knowledge to my day-to-day work immediately. One of my colleagues Alan Bartholomew, an optometrist here, was my personal tutor and I had dedicated time each week working with him.

‘Specsavers offers a range of further education opportunities and I would definitely recommend the company to others. I’d like to thank all of the team here for their great encouragement, support and guidance over the last three years, I’m really proud and feel it’s a joint achievement!’

More from Eddie 

Eddie said: ‘Louise has worked extremely hard to achieve this qualification - working full-time and studying is tough – so staying focussed and positive is important and we’ve got great infectious enthusiasm in the store! We’re all looking forward to seeing Louise develop further within the company.’

All North Shields store information