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We are celebrating – the last 10 years of C&H

On this day - 1st September 2008 -  10 years ago I bought Coton & Hamblin Optometrists.

I was 27 years old.  I still remember the butterflies that the sale wouldn’t complete that day.  The anxious wait in the 10 deep queue in Natwest Woolwich at lunch time as there was an additional piece of a loan agreement I had to sign that was changed at 9am the morning of the 1st.

I couldn’t eat all day.  I was waiting on a phone call that came finally around 4pm.  The relief and then the daunting reality that I owed the bank a lot of money and that I was responsible for employing 8 members of staff and 5 locums and their families relied on me doing a good job. 

10 years on.  A lot has happened.  To me, I have got married, had 2 children (youngest one nearly 6months so I am still on maternity leave)

We’ve had 2 practice refits, the whole building at Blackheath has been renovated. 

We have trained up 2 Optometrists, we have a new trainee Optometrist and our first Dispensing Optician trainee will be qualifying at the end of this year.

We now have 12 staff and 7 regular locums. 

I have learnt many lessons over the last 10 years.  In work, my patients come first, and I have invested in amazing technology to offer the best that I can for their eye health and vision with optimum lenses for spectacles and contact lenses.  We have Optomap and 3D imaging –better than some  hospital grade equipment and Optometrists with additional qualifications to give anyone who books with us the best we can. 

I hope I have been a fair boss to date.  I have many stories about some of the people that I have employed over the last 10years.  I don’t think there is anything that a member of staff can say or do that will surprise me anymore.  From a fairly sheltered upbringing in South Wales, pardon the pun, there have been many eye opening moments with more than a raised eyebrow.  But I should stop there as my jokes may get cornea and cornea! 

To my staff (past and present) and my amazing friends and family who have stuck by my side (you know who you are) I will never be able to thank you enough for being there.  I am very lucky to have you all.

So, if you have managed to read to the end of my longest post to date, thank you and here is to the next 10 years. 

For the next month, we have some special offers in the practices and online to thank you as our loyal customers for sticking with us through our ups and downs over the last 10 years which is a blink in time, as C&H will be celebrating 125 years in 2019. 

Thank you and please raise your glasses to celebrate our tin anniversary!

Jo Cashell

Managing Director



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