AOP Awards 2018 winners announced

The Association of Optometrists announced the winners of the AOP Awards 2018.

On Sunday 28 January the Association of Optometrists (AOP) announced the winners of the AOP Awards 2018.

Celebrating excellence across the profession, the Awards, which were supported by headline sponsor CooperVision, recognised a diverse range of contributors to optics. From practitioners who put patients first to businesses leading the way in innovation. 

This year’s AOP Lifetime Achievement Award went to prominent researcher Professor David Henson. Commenting on a career which has spanned more than four decades, Professor Henson said: “I’ve had a very varied and enjoyable career with the opportunity to work with some amazing people who I’ve found inspiring. I’ve never regretted a moment in my career.”

Sinead McGurk Opticians received the Practice of the Year award, in recognition of its outstanding clinical care and a strong focus on the patient journey. Commenting on the accolade, Practice owner and optometrist, Sinead McGurk said: "It’s an absolute honour to be a winner in the AOP Awards 2018. We never dreamed that we, as a practice in rural Northern Ireland, would be at this pinnacle. I’m very proud and grateful for all of the hard work put in by everyone.”

Optometrist of the Year winner, Steve Clark, who works for domiciliary sight test provider the Outside Clinic, described the experience of winning as “humbling” and commented that the most rewarding part of his role is “knowing you’ve delivered a great service.”    

AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman, said: “Every one of this year’s finalists have demonstrated extraordinary dedication. Their commitment and passion has amazed our judges and we are delighted to recognise their achievements.” 

The glittering ceremony took place alongside trade and education event 100% Optical and was hosted by comedian, doctor and campaigner, Dr Phil Hammond.

More than 30,000 votes were cast across this year’s awards categories. For more information on the AOP Awards 2018, including details of all the winners and shortlisted nominees, visit


For more information, please contact Serena Box, PR and Media Manager, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2063.

High resolution photos can be found in this drop box folder.

Notes to Editors
Association of Optometrists 

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading representative membership organisation for optometrists in the UK. We support over 80% of practising optometrists, to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. For more information, visit

AOP Awards

Now in its seventh year, the AOP Awards has quickly become a highlight of the optical calendar. Taking place at ExCeL, in London, on Sunday 28 January, the ceremony recognised achievement in 15 categories, 12 of which were open to nomination. A panel of expert judges selected a shortlist for three entries – which were open to a public vote from Friday, 29 September to Tuesday, 12 December 2017.

We would like to thank all our sponsors – 100% Optical, Alcon: A Novartis Division, BIB Ophthalmic Instruments, CooperVision, Grafton Optical, Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care, Lloyd & Whyte, Optos and Specsavers – for their continued support.

  • Charity of the Year – VICTA Children Ltd
  • Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year, sponsored by – Faye McDearmid, Campbell & McDearmid Optometrists
  • Dispensing Optician of the Year – Lee Berbillion, Davies & Jones Optometrists
  • Members' Choice Award, Frame of the Year – International Eyewear, Storm London S564
  • Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year – Specsavers Keighley
  • Lecturer of the Year – Patrick Richardson, Ulster University
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Professor David Henson
  • Marketing Initiative of the Year – Lunettes Opticians, Lunettes Opticians and Vision Aid Overseas School Recycling Campaign
  • Newly Qualified Optometrist of the Year – Jasmine Smith, Aves Optometrists
  • Optical Team of the Year – Keyes Eyecare
  • Optometrist of the Year – Steve Clark, The Outside Clinic
  • Practice of the Year – Sinead McGurk Opticians 
  • Members' Choice Award, Product of the Year – MiSight, CooperVision
  • Student of the Year – Gareth Towers
  • Young Practice of the Year – Focus Medical Eye Centre

For more information about the AOP Awards, visit