A SPECIAL guest visited an Oxfordshire opticians to celebrate three members of staff for their years of work.

Celebrating 20 years of service at Specsavers in Bicester, Charlie White, 35, Jayne Grantham, 59, and Ruth Hale, 62, were recognised and each received a certificate presented by glasses designer Jeff Banks

The trio, who are all from Bicester, were praised for their hard work over the past two decades.

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Satnam Johal, the store director, said: “Two decades of service is something to be celebrated and we’re delighted to have such dedicated and loyal members of the team.

"It was fantastic to have Jeff come to the store and meet the team. He spent time chatting with everyone as well as visiting our lab and for the three long serving members of staff it was the icing on the cake for him to present their certificates."

Ms Grantham, one of the staff awarded, started working at the opticians as a receptionist before moving into different roles.

She said: “I started as a receptionist back in 2000 and in my 20 years at the store I’ve taken on a variety of roles and have done a bit of everything really, including some dispensing. I now work as an administrator in the office, answering the phones and processing NHS submissions as well as cashing up.

“We were a small team to start with but are now 33 strong with a mix of age ranges. Everyone gets on really well; it’s like having an extension to your family and I think it’s really important that we all get on as it makes working together much easier.

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"It was fantastic to have Jeff come to the store and present us with our long service awards. He was lovely and spent lots of time chatting to everyone. I suppose 20 years is a pretty big milestone, especially in today’s world where it seems like people move jobs much more frequently."

Ms Grantham has also noticed how much things have changed particularly the technology that is now used to test eyes.

The store has recently invested in an optical coherence tomography (OCT) machine which is a scan that helps detect treatable eye conditions sooner.

Ms Hale, also awarded, said: “I love my job, which is the main reason why I’ve been at the store for 20 years. I started out booking customers in for their appointments but quickly progressed to dispensing specs and that’s the job I still do now – I think I’m the oldest dispenser in store.

“We’ve gone through lots of change over the years, not only with the team growing in size but moving premises and going from one store director to now having four.”

She added: “It’s great to see more and more youngsters joining the team and looking to gain qualifications – supporting our succession plans. We also feel a lot of pride for the number of awards we’ve won, especially in recent years, as it makes you want to do an even better job and work harder for the rest of the team."

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Mr Banks’ career has spanned five decades and his eyewear range is available at Specsavers comprising of 12 frames, each named after a 60s hangout.

For more information, visit the store or call 01869 321422.