Optometry Wales hosts first awards ceremony

A gala dinner was held to recognise the winners and finalists in eight categories

The Monnow Eyecare team are dressed in black tie and have gathered on stage to collect a glass award trophy. They stand in front of a banner that has the Optometry Wales logo
Lee Meek Photography

Optometry Wales held its first awards ceremony last week (25 November), celebrating the workforce in Wales with a gala dinner at Portland House in Cardiff.

Optometry Wales invited members to nominate a colleague or fellow professional to be entered into one of eight award categories.

The awards evening celebrated the winners and finalists, with 174 guests attending and £735 raised for charity.

Optometrist Lorcan Butler, optical engagement manager at The Brain Tumour Charity, hosted the evening, and Optometry Wales chairman, Craig Mackenzie, presented the awards.

Optometry Wales shared in a statement: “A good night was had by all celebrating the wonderful workforce we have in Wales.”

The award for Optometrist of the Year went to Helen Tilley, owner and director of Monnow Eyecare, while the Hakim Group independent practice received the accolade for Practice of the Year (pictured above).

Tilley is an independent prescriber with additional qualifications in glaucoma and therapeutics, balancing clinical responsibilities and business management, and is also passionate about providing emergency eye care.

Commenting on the awards, Tilley said: “I am truly honoured to receive the Practice of the Year and Optometrist of the Year award, and this success is a testament to the dedication of our incredible team. Monnow Eyecare wouldn’t be what it is without their buy-in and commitment. We share in this achievement together, and I am immensely proud of each team member.”

Runners up for the Optometrist of the Year award were Joseph Partridge, of Jonathan Partridge Optometrists, Wayne Allen Jones, of Specsavers Haverfordwest, and Marc Drake of Osmond Drake Opticians.

Osmond Drake Opticians and Gower Opticians were also recognised as runners up for the Practice of the Year title.

The award for Practice Manager of the Year was presented to Sara Mozaffar, at Annette Dobbs Eyecare, and Ian Chalmers of Chalmers Opticians took home the accolade of Dispensing Optician/Contact Lens Optician of the Year.

Rebecca Goldsworthy of Specsavers Bridgend was awarded Best Newcomer of the Year, Kimberley Waters at Specsavers Newport was celebrated as Pre-Registration Optometrist of the Year, and Elinor Hobby of Osmond Drake Opticians was named Innovator of the Year.

The title of Green Practice of the Year went to Jonathan Partridge Opticians.