Yoga, physiotherapy and a Bollywood-themed ball on offer at inaugural Optometry Wellbeing Day

Clay work and reiki featured alongside continuing professional development sessions at the Northamptonshire event in May

A group of people wearing formal Indian garments smile with their hands in the air. Coloured lights illuminate a darkened conference room and circular tables set for dinner can be seen to one side of the group.
Sheena Tanna-Shah

As well as shaping their education, 85 attendees at a Northamptonshire Optometry Wellbeing Day event tried their hand at moulding clay.

The inaugural event on 12 May was attended by 85 participants who took part in yoga, physiotherapy, massage and a Bollywood-themed Eyeball alongside continuing professional development sessions.

Optometrist, Sheena Tanna-Shah, who organised the event alongside her husband and fellow optometrist, Piyus Tanna, shared that many attendees commented how it was refreshing to see people dressed for yoga rather than lectures.

“With stress, anxiety, and depression accounting for 17.1 million working days lost in 2022-2023, wellbeing events like this are necessary,” she said.

Optometry Hero Award recipient, Jude Edwards, holding a award in his hands
Sheena Tanna-Shah
Optometry Hero Award recipient, Jude Edwards.
Tanna-Shah shared that some of the participants had not tried yoga before, but were keen to explore options for local yoga classes after giving it a go.

“Another memorable moment was watching everyone have fun and get creative during the clay making session – witnessing 85 people from the profession cutting, shaping, and getting so engrossed in creating their clay pieces was incredible,” she said.

In the evening, Specsavers Northampton director, Jude Edwards, was recognised with the Optometry Hero Award.

Tanna-Shah shared that the accolade recognises an individual who has made a positive difference within the profession.

“Jude was nominated for supporting another professional with their career progression. He went above and beyond and made a huge difference to this person who was extremely grateful as it allowed them to reach the next stage in their career,” she said.

Edwards expressed his gratitude for the award.

“I'm truly honoured. Words cannot express enough just how proud I am of the colleague who I supported,” he said.

The Optometry Wellbeing Day was a whole-family effort, with Tanna-Shah’s daughters, Sienna, 12, and Isla, 11, supporting the event as work experience.

Tanna-Shah thanked event sponsor, The Body Doctor, for their support.

Main image: attendees of the inaugural Optometry Wellbeing Day celebrate at a Bollywood-themed Eyeball.