Focusing on Kirkcaldy …
In the latest of our business profiles, we look at one of the best known national names in town. We caught up with Lindsay Cooke at Vision Express to get a clearer picture …
Lindsay qualified as an optometrist in 2005 and over the next 13 years worked in a number of locations throughout Scotland and Ireland. In July 2018, she joined the team at Vision Express in Kirkcaldy and “has never looked back“.
Lindsay says: “I come from a small town with a strong sense of community and I feel the same warmth of community in Kirkcaldy. I am proud to tell people what a lovely place it is to work and how passionate people here are about their town.”
Vision Express is in the Mercat Shopping Centre (KY1 1NX). It was opened in 2006 by Nigel Colgan, who is still at the helm today. The store is in fact VE Kirkcaldy – a franchise of the Vision Express group of opticians practices. Vision Express is the second largest optical retailer in the UK and is part of Grand Vision – the largest optical retailer in Europe.
Lindsay says they pride themselves in providing “first class eye care” and offering “excellent customer service” – and they specialise in children’s eye testing and spectacle dispensing, contact lens fitting and aftercare (including specialist contact lenses) and the management of minor eye conditions.
Her journey into optics started with high school work experience. She explains: “I wanted to work in healthcare but wasn’t so keen on blood and guts or the unsociable working hours of medicine! I started working for Vision Express in 2001 when I was accepted into the optometry degree course at Glasgow Caledonian University and have since worked my way up through the ranks. I always wanted to run my own practice and it is living up to all my dreams so far.”
Job satisfaction is at the forefront for Lindsay. She adds: “I love my job and get great satisfaction from helping people with their eye care needs … whether that’s eye testing and helping people choose their perfect eye wear or assessing and treating minor eye conditions.”
And the proof is in the pudding. “People return year on year to our practice for the personal and professional service from our friendly and highly skilled team.”
They have three resident optometrist optometrists, 3 full time optical assistants, 1 optical apprentice, 1 assistant store manager and a lab technician.
Lindsay adds: “Our store has a warm atmosphere and we take the time to get to know our patients, taking a genuine interest in them and their optical needs. We have built a reputation over the years for our specialist interest in children’s eye testing, contact lens fitting and management minor eye conditions.”
The store also boasts a unique on site lab where they can manufacture spectacles on site. Lindsay explains: “This allows a personal and efficient service with many orders being possible to collect the next day. We also offer free repairs and adjustments of your glasses … even if they were not purchased with us.”
It is clear what makes Lindsay tick in the workplace – but what about time away? Healthcare and helping others is never far away. In 2010, she ran the Dublin marathon on aid of Vision Aid Oversees. “The sponsorship raised allowed me to travel to Zambia in 2011, where I volunteered to visit outreach clinics and test the eyes of over 1,000 people in dire need of eye care.” The result? Lindsay helped to dispense over 600 pairs of spectacles to improve the lives of people who had previously been branded as disabled due to their inability to see well enough to learn in school or to work.
She feels “very fortunate and proud” to have been able to work her way up from a scholar on work experience to a senior optometrist and director of her own practice – enabling her to employ staff and offer them stability and prospects in a successful practice gives her “enormous satisfaction”.
As with all those we feature in our wee profiles, we ask what Lindsay would recommend to someone visiting Kirkcaldy for the first time – or for the first time in a long time: “Take a stroll along the promenade and visit one of our Saturday markets” is her advice. Clearly!
Pop in to see Lindsay and her team at Unit 7 in the Mercat Shopping Centre.
Visit them online for more information – or call 01592 268400
Thanks for reading!
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