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May to November, by Saddleworth Dispensing Optician Claire Atkinson

My 1 st 6 months as Saddleworth’s resident dispensing optician

I had been working for my previous employer for 7 years when Sheryl approached me with an exciting new proposition of resident dispensing optician in Saddleworth. In fact that very same week I’d had a conversation with my family about how much easier life would be if I worked closer to home. The 20 mile commute over the moors was taking it’s toll and it certainly wasn’t pleasant in the winter months. Claire Atkinson - Dispensing Optician Musicians Optician Greenfield Uppermill SaddleworthWe had worked together previously (Optics is a very small world) which made our initial chat about the role far less nerve wracking than a formal interview. I soon came to realise that that’s how things are done at Allegro. There is a familiar, friendly feel in both premises which makes for a relaxed environment for staff and patients alike. Let’s face it, when considering a new job we have to weigh up the pros and cons and I’m pleased to say that there were far more pros! I already knew 3 members of staff from previous employment, I only had a 5 minute commute, I liked the ethos of the business and I was excited to be a part of something new.

Working in a new business

In the back of my mind there were thoughts of ‘It’s a new business, will it be successful in this economic climate’ ‘will my job be secure for years to come.’ I needn’t have worried – The Meltham practice was going from strength-to-strength and it’s now clear that the lovely people of Saddleworth and the surrounding areas were keen to see what we’re all about. Allegro Optical Greenfield Claire James and Sheryl I have really enjoyed getting to know my new colleagues and patients and it’s been interesting to see the new ranges of spectacle frames ( getting excited about new frame ranges is an occupational hazard!) I am proud to say that I work for Allegro and I look forward to seeing where Sheryl and Steve will take the business – and of course how many more awards will be won! It makes such a difference to your well-being to go to work with a spring in your step so here’s to another 6 months and beyond! Claire Atkinson
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About Allegro News

Meet the Team: Amy Ogden – Resident Optometrist, Meltham

Amy Ogden Optometrist

We’d like to introduce Amy, she’s just joined the team

Thanks to continued growth our team is growing and we would like to introduce Amy Ogden, Meltham’s new resident Optometrist. Our team members are what make us special and we like to help you, our readers, get to know them better.  We sat down with Amy to find out what makes her tick. Over a cuppa we talked about her love of music making, marathon running and the importance of eye-care and optometry.  

What first attracted you to a career in optometry?

For me, where the love for optometry began was; I had a period in my late teens where I was quite poorly, and was in the hospital a lot (I’m fit as a fiddle now). Once recovered, I too wanted to help people. The problem was, the idea of spending more time in the hospital or GP surgery, well, it wasn’t very appealing to my 18 year old self.  Due to my health at the time, I had to attend my local Optometrists quite regularly. I began to pick their brains on the path of study, optometry. Asking about the real world and where my degree (should I study optometry) could take me. Within 4 weeks, I had carried out work experience and gained a part time job as an Optical Assistant; within 8 weeks I had applied to university to study Optometry. I continued this work at the weekends throughout university up until 3 year. By then I needed the extra time for study.

Where did you study?

The University of Manchester 

Why did you decide to apply for a job at Allegro Optical?

I started to play the flute when I was 6 years old. I was told originally my hands were too small. However, I was so determined that I didn’t want to play any other instrument, they let me try anyway. My grandpa gave me my own flute when I was 9. He played the recorder but he discovered that the skill to play the two instruments was not easily transferable.  Then I was given the redundant flute (which I still have). I decided to try my hand at the piano when I started secondary school. Also guitar when I started GCSE music, to give me a wider range of musical understanding.  However, the flute has and always will be my passion. I stopped playing when I was pregnant with my little girl who is now one. But I started to play bits and bats again about 5 months ago. About the same time I saw an advertisement for an Optometrist vacancy at Allegro. My two passions combined, and so close to home, it seemed like a sign (and too good to be true). I did my research, read up everything I could about Allegro. About the amazing, innovative work they do. I thought I just had to be a part of the team, luckily for me, they felt the same!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

As I’ve said already, I enjoy helping people and to me that means ensuring best patient care; that has taken me both into high street practice and more recently into the domiciliary sector. I enjoy the puzzle when a patient comes in with a problem. It’s my job to find a solution, or to see to it that plans are set in motion so that a solution may be found. The solution may be prescribing glasses, exercises or it may be an onward referral to an Orthoptist or to an Ophthalmologist. Whatever the outcome, I have to ensure my care is patient centred and their best interests are looked after. I also enjoy the wide variation my job brings. As the public make up the bulk of my day, no day is the same. I love meeting new people and finding out about their lives. I’ve met some truly fabulous people during my working hours.

What are your career plans for the future?

I am very interested in the clinical side of optometry. My main focus at the moment is to undertake my independent prescribing qualification. Optometry is changing all of the time, something I find extremely exciting. Another reason why I am so passionate about it. My main aim is to keep up with these clinical advancements to ensure I can always give the best care to my patients.

 What do you do in your spare time?

As I’ve mentioned above I have a one year old daughter, who keeps me very busy. When I don’t have my Optometrist hat on, that being said I do like to have some “ me time “. I like to play my flute, I am shocked at how much I seemed to have forgotten in the short time.  Currently I am re-teaching myself, with help from my sister-in-law, who is a grade 8 flute master and puts me on the right track when I need advice. I am a runner and I have a running blog (which I had to make as I was driving family and friends mad with run talk). I completed the Loch Ness marathon in October in memory of my Dad, and raised money for the AMMF cancer charity. I’ve a number of races booked for next year, including Loch Ness again (it was amazing for any runners out there), and try to get out as much as I can. I also try to squeeze a non running activity like swimming or climbing in as I love to be on the go. I love to cook, and spend hours looking through recipe books planning the weekly meals ahead. We are all massive “Foodies” in our household, so family meal time has become a huge thing. We also love eating out (who doesn’t), breakfast, lunch or tea, we aren’t fussy!

Family Values

At Allegro Optical we always put family first and are passionate about our Allegro family. Allegro Optical recently won the Yorkshire and Humber Family Business of the Year Award. If you and your family would like to experience award winning family eye care call Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090 and book your appointment today.