AOP Awards 2015 winners announced

AOP Awards 2015 winners announced at the National Optical Conference (NOC)

The twelve winners of the AOP Awards 2015 were announced on 5 November at a national awards ceremony in Birmingham. Run by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, the awards recognise the highest levels of achievement in UK optics.

With a career spanning more than 40 years, Dr Margaret Woodhouse received the Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to both the public and the profession. Described as one of optic’s true stars, Dr Woodhouse’s drive and passion has helped her to transform the face of optometry, increasing people’s understanding of the visual development of children with Down’s syndrome, making life-changing research discoveries. Dr Woodhouse said: “I want the day to come when parents of children with Down’s syndrome don’t have to come from the other end of the country to my clinic.”

Lincoln-based optometrist Dr Martin Smith scooped the Optometrist of the Year category, in recognition of his exceptional commitment to patient care and clinical experience. Commenting on his award, Dr Smith said: “Winning Optometrist of the Year is a great feeling. It is an honour to be chosen by my peers for this award. Thanks to all those who voted for me.”

G.T. Harvey & Partners Optometrists in Newcastle received the Practice of the Year award, in recognition of its outstanding service to the local community. Commenting on the accolade, Stuart Henderson, Principal Optometrist and Practice Director, said: “It is a great honour to win such a prestigious award. I am particularly delighted for the staff and patients as it is their hard work and loyalty that makes the practice what it is.”

Henrietta Alderman, AOP Chief Executive, said: “The AOP Awards showcase the incredible work that many individuals, practices and organisations do, year in and year out. The quality of the nominees in all categories this year has amazed and delighted the judges. Congratulations to all this year’s winners and shortlisted nominees. Your dedication to the eye care of patients, clinical expertise and promotion of optometry sets you apart as true role models for the profession. ”

More than 14,000 votes were cast across this year’s awards categories. For more information on the AOP Awards 2015, including details of all the winners and shortlisted nominees, visit our AOP Awards section.


For more information, please contact Emily Campbell, Marketing and PR Officer, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2040.

Notes to Editors

Association of Optometrists 

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading professional membership organisation for optometrists and other optical professionals in the UK. We support our community of 16,000 plus members to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. As a founding member of the Optical Confederation we work with others to improve eye health for the public good. Find more information at

AOP Awards 

Now in its fifth year, the AOP Awards 2015, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, has quickly become a highlight of the optical calendar. The winners of the AOP Awards 2015 were revealed at a black-tie gala dinner of more than 300 guests on 5 November, during the National Optical Conference in Birmingham. We would like to thank all our sponsors for their support, including headline sponsor, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, and all the category sponsors:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr Margaret Woodhouse, sponsored by Alcon
  • Newly-qualified Optometrist of the Year – Neema Ghorbani Mojarrad, sponsored by Leightons Opticians
  • Optometrist of the Year – Dr Martin Smith, sponsored by CooperVision 
  • Dispensing Optician of the Year – Lesley Oglethorpe, sponsored by Luxottica
  • Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year – Colin Tonner, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care
  • Optical Assistant of the Year – Laura Taylor
  • Student of the Year – Shaimil Shah, sponsored by Keeler
  • Lecturer of the Year – Dr Katharine Evans, sponsored by 100% Optical
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year – BBR Optometry, sponsored by Lloyd & Whtye
  • Practice of the Year – G.T Harvey & Partners Optometrists, sponsored by Scope Ophthalmics
  • Young Practice of the Year – Lesley Cree Opticians
  • Charity Initiative of the Year – Taank Optometrists