Independent celebrates one year since opening

The fourth Edmonds and Slatter practice opened in Kibworth during the pandemic

Edmonds and Slatter practice

Optical group Edmonds and Slatter is marking the one anniversary of its fourth practice this month.

The independent opened the doors of its latest practice, based in Kibworth, Leicestershire, during the pandemic.

Having collected the keys to the new site in February 2020, initial plans to open in April last year were revised when England went into its first lockdown due to coronavirus in March. The practice, which was a brand-new location and therefore had no patient base, opened its doors on 22 June 2020.

Speaking about the last 12 months, business development manager at Edmonds & Slatter, Linda Southin, told OT: “It’s been going well; we weren’t sure what to expect really. We haven’t opened a brand-new practice in over 30 years.”

Southin said that the pandemic “probably helped” the practice as people have been shopping more locally, explaining: “We have seen a lot of patients who are people who live locally and really appreciate not having to travel six miles into the larger town for their eye care.”

“They like getting their eye care here as they have wanted to stay as local as possible during the pandemic. We have had a lot of people come in and say that it is great to have an opticians in the village so they don’t have to travel,” she added.

Southin credits the businesses’ directors for ensuring the practice could open, highlighting that after providing emergency eye care to patients in the group’s other practices, they would visit the new practice in the evenings to set up everything. “They are very hands-on, and we are very lucky because of that,” she said.

Since opening, the practice has offered emergency eye care and eyewear services to key workers, vulnerable residents and those requiring urgent support. It has also provided routine eye care since Government regulations allowed.

Unable to celebrate the original opening, the practice is planning to mark its one year anniversary with a COVID-secure event at the end of the month (26 June).

Speaking about the celebratory event, practice manager, Emma Sturgess, said: “We are looking forward to meeting and greeting the residents of Kibworth and being able to show them everything Edmonds and Slatter has to offer.”

“It will be an exciting day with full collections of designer spectacle frames displayed alongside nibbles and drinks in the practice,” she added.

Callum Parkinson, vice-captain of Leicestershire County Cricket Club, will officially open the practice, while activities of the day will include a giveaway scratch card promotion as well as a raffle that aims to raise funds for the group’s charity of the year, The Bodie Hodges Foundation.