Keighley recognised for investment in team wellbeing

Specsavers Keighley has been recognised for investment in team wellbeing.

The Specsavers Keighley team was announced as the Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year for 2018 at the annual AOP Awards which took place on 28 January 2018, during the 100% Optical trade event in London.

Activities that contributed to their award win included developing a mental strength tool kit with the aim of de-stigmatising mental health and creating an environment where individuals can talk without fear, and staff are rewarded for promoting mindfulness.
Building a culture of transparency, trust and support, and ensuring all team members feel valued, is key for ophthalmic director, Raj Gill. He says there is still a long way to go, explaining ‘I love the unity of the team and have spent time encouraging team bonding.’

‘We’ve identified that off-site play fuels creativity too, my personal favourite was Nerf Wars.’
‘There is always an open door, an open mind and an open ear to listen. The aim is to provide everyone with the opportunity to be more mindful of the beautiful world around them and not just to run on autopilot’.

Speaking after the awards, Raj said: ‘It is great for the team to be acknowledged by our industry peers for doing a great job.’
‘Life is too short to be unhappy. I take great pleasure in being surrounded by a happy, smiling team – I cannot do anything but smile back.’

Specsavers Guernsey were one of three practices in the country to be shortlisted for Practice of the year. The eventual winner was Sinead McGurk Opticians.

Specsavers sponsored the Optometry Lecturer of the Year 2018 category – won by Ulster University’s Patrick Richardson.
Lecturer and clinical director Patrick was shortlisted, in part as he is reported to use an evidence based approach to bring optometry to life and prepare students for practice.

Having worked part-time in three academic departments and a large teaching hospital, Patrick Richardson says his clinical experiences play a central part in his teaching: ‘I believe my main role is to take my experience to the students and make them understand the direct links between a theoretical knowledge of optics and clinical work.’

He recommends lecturers are up-front about their clinical mistakes. ‘Give students the stories about your errors and how you learnt from them. These are often the things that they remember best’.

On winning the award, presented to him by clinical services director Giles Edmonds, Patrick said: ‘I was honoured to win, and especially delighted that the Ulster students nominated me.’

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