Haverhill optometrist is shortlisted for top award

Joanna Williams, of Wardale Williams Opticians, has been shortlisted as a finalist for the UK's Optometrist of the Year in the Optician Awards 2017.
Joanna Williams, of Wardale Williams Opticians, has been shortlisted as a finalist for the UK's Optometrist of the Year in the Optician Awards 2017.
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A Haverhill optometrist has been shortlisted as a finalist for a prestigious award.

Joanna Williams, of Wardale Williams Opticians, is in the running for the UK’s Optometrist of the Year in the Optician Awards 2017.

Mainly based at the company’s Haverhill branch, she also works at its branches in Halstead and Sudbury.

The 49-year-old, of Great Yeldham, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for this award.

“Win or lose, the process of working towards the award was an amazing and rewarding process and has made me really think about what I do on a daily basis.”

Her nomination illustrated her willingness to go ‘above and beyond’ carrying out thorough and detailed eye exams.

Examples of her going the extra mile include visits to schools to talk to children about eye tests and assess them for reading difficulties.

She has baked tasty treats for a healthy eating initiative and cycled from London to Brighton to raise funds for charity.

Her devotion to helping children through colorimetry, which is the use of colour to help with visual stress, particularly impressed the judges.

She also set up a dry eye clinic and introduced a cutting-edge 3D retinal scanner to the Sudbury branch of the opticians.

Mrs Williams started working at the opticians in November 2008.

It was her first job as a qualified optometrist following a career in scientific publishing.

The judges gathered in London in early February to select the finalists across 16 different categories.

Mrs Williams is shortlisted with five other optometrists from across the country.

The winner will be announced during a black tie ceremony in Birmingham on April 1.