AOP Awards

“This has brought the whole team together”

Coleman Opticians managing director, Kate Fenn, tells OT  why the physical and mental health of her staff is vital

Coleman Opticians team

Winner of the AOP Awards 2020 Health and Wellbeing Initiative of the Year is Coleman Opticians Hearing and Vision Centre in Norwich.

At Coleman Opticians, managing director, Kate Fenn, and her co-founder Helen Hills have created an environment where staff wellbeing is at the forefront and charity volunteering days are a key part of the calendar.

Ms Fenn tells OT why the physical and mental health of those working within her practice is vital.

Winning this award has meant a huge amount to the whole team at Coleman Opticians. It gives a complete focus to the importance of health and wellbeing in our practice.

Our standout initiative includes buying a locally sourced fruit box each week for the staff room. We also encourage the team to look after themselves and embrace fresh air and fitness, either by going for a walk at lunch time, cycling to work or starting Couch to 5K.

We support every member of our team to do a volunteer day at a local charity. We’ve supported the local food bank, wrapped hampers for a charity, looked after cats in a sanctuary, sold Christmas cards in a charity shop, and helped remove plastics from beaches and rivers. This has brought the whole team together and had a really positive effect on everyone’s mental health, as well as helping local causes. The team feels proud of its achievement and it has improved teamwork. It has helped us encourage our customers to get involved too. We believe that the secret lies in believing in it and following ideas through.

The secret lies in believing in it and following ideas through


This year we will be doing more of the same with our outreach community activities; sponsoring local sport teams and focusing on creating a sustainable practice. We have staff members running the London Marathon, the Cambridge Half and Run Norwich, all for different charities. Our biggest fundraiser in 2020 will be supporting the GoGo Discover sculpture trail, made up of 20 T-Rex in Norwich, alongside Dippy on Tour. You will definitely see some great team activities in the year ahead from Team Colemans.

  • As told to Lucy Miller.