Our best moments of 2021

Our best moments of 2021

It’s been quite the year for all of us with the ongoing pandemic, but there have certainly been some great moments for us. We’re taking a look back at some of our highlights of 2021 and want to share them with you…

Happy birthday to us!

Firstly, we celebrated 30 years in business! From our humble beginnings in 1991, we’ve come a long way and have all our amazing patients and staff to thank for that.

It’s safe to say we had a great time celebrating this milestone achievement!

New team members

We’re pleased to say we’ve had a few additions to our friendly team at our opticians in Monkseaton in the past year!

Megan, our new optical assistant, joined our practice in January. Daisy also started in January as our new student dispensing optician and is now fully qualified – a fantastic achievement!

Both Megan and Daisy have had previous experienced working with opticians, and it’s been wonderful to have them both on board this year.

If you book an eye test at our opticians in the Whitley Bay area, you might see our talented optometrist Hayden Hamilton, who started with us in May. Hayden graduated in 2014 from Glasgow Caledonian University, before specialising as an Independent Prescriber.

Having her join in a part time role means we’ve been able to run 2 clinics for 6.5 days a week – allowing us to see more of you – our valued customers. Hayden is a keen rower and traveller, but most of all loves meeting people, which definitely shows, as she’s been a huge hit with our patients so far. We feel very lucky to have her as part of the Robinson’s team!

Looking for a new pair of glasses? With more than 30 years of experience in optics, Tracy Tweddle, who joined us in May, will definitely be able to help you find the perfect pair.

We also had another optometrist, Andrea Turnbull, join us in November. Andrea is passionate about optometry and brings a wealth of experience to the role. She’s also a real people person – all qualities that make her a real asset to our team.

Not strictly a new team member, but we like to think of her as one (!) – baby Lottie was born in June to Robyn, our assistant manager and dispensing optician, and her husband Simon. She is absolutely gorgeous and a bundle of joy – we can’t wait to see more of her next year!

New myopia control lenses

2021 has been a year of investing in more innovative products for the practice too. One of these is MiYOSMART – special spectacle lenses from one of our lens suppliers, HOYA, which are clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia, aka short-sightedness, in children.

Myopia is a growing epidemic worldwide, with kids in particular starting to develop it at younger ages than previously seen. As it gets worse over the year, it can lead to a host of other potential serious vision problems in adulthood, like glaucoma and retinal detachments.

This is why using myopia management methods like MiYOSMART from an early age has become so important, as it helps you as parents to protect your child’s future vision and eye health.

Fitted and worn just like normal glasses, MiYOSMART lenses are ideal for kids, offering UV protection, impact resistance and anti-glare technology too.

Optix conference

There have been some exciting events too; one was the Optix conference at Celtic Manor, which Nigel, Anth and John had the privilege of attending. They were lucky enough to hear some amazing inspirational speakers, including Sir Chris Hoy MBE and Duncan Slater.

In 2009, Duncan Slater was on patrol in Afghanistan when his vehicle hit an IED. Rather than a life confined to a wheelchair, Duncan chose double amputation. Eight months later he completed a charity cycle ride from Lands End to John O Groats. He has since gone on to ski to the South Pole and complete the toughest race on the planet – Marathon des Sables, in aid of Walking With The Wounded.

Sir Chris Hoy was truly inspiring too – the epitome of dedication and modesty; an exemplary individual who showed us what can be achieved with the correct mindset.

Nigel, Anth and John were proud to have been part of the fundraising dinner, which raised £30k – a figure that was matched by the hosts – Optix Software.

Whitley Bay Girls Sports Club sponsorship

We’re all about supporting our local community, which is why we also sponsored the U12 Lionesses team for a third season. We’re thrilled to see how far they’ve come since they first started 2 years ago – in fact, this year, they were playing in the Premier Division!

They’re always welcome here at our opticians in Monkseaton!

Sea2See frames

On the eyewear front, we’re pleased we’ve just started stocking the brand Sea2See as part of our commitment to becoming an eco-friendlier practice. Sea2See works with fishermen to collect plastic from the sea, before processing it to create beautiful frames. This means you’ll be able to support environmental protection in style! Feel free to visit us and view the collection in the new year.

Thank you to our loyal customers

Lastly, a special thank you to you – our loyal customers who have helped to make 2021 the success it was. Let’s hope 2022 is an even better year!

If you’re looking to book an eye test in the Whitley Bay area for the new year, or need to contact our practice for any other eyecare or eyewear needs, please do get in touch with our friendly team.

30 Years In Business


Can you believe it! Our Optician’s Practice has just had its 30th birthday.

Well it doesn’t seem like it, but it was September 1991 when we opened our doors above a chemist’s shop in Monkseaton. At that time, the team consisted of Nigel, Judith and 3 receptionists each doing 2 days a week. We tested 1 day a week, undertaking locum work elsewhere to support the new project.

The practice has moved twice, and worked from a porta cabin during renovations. This was all within 200 yards, but feels like a million miles in where we have travelled.

We are so grateful to our fantastic, loyal patients, who have supported us every step of the way. Of course we are also indebted to our wonderful team whose hard work and dedication has landed us the title of National Independent Practice of the Year on no fewer than 3 occasions, an achievement of which we are hugely proud.

The change in technology has been mind-blowing. It seems no time at all since we were
using little trial frames to add the lenses to our patients test routine. Now the integrated
system is cross linked to a record card and lenses changed at the click of a mouse.
Who would have thought that we would be performing our own CT scans of the eye within a practice environment? Our OCT tests are now undertaken on an almost routine basis.

Disposable lenses that we throw away on a daily basis? (This packaging is now recycled by the way). We used to see so many red and painful infected eyes, through people not looking after their contact lenses. They are now an altogether safer option than they were.

Lens technology has come on leaps and bounds! Modern varifocals are so easy to adapt to, yet we probably all remember seeing folks walking like they were on the moon, when first wearing some of the older designs.

One thing that hasn’t changed, is our commitment to providing you with the very best in eye-care and eyewear, in a warm friendly environment.

As we have said, “We couldn’t have done it without you”, so thank you! As part of the celebrations we will be running a weekly prize draw.

Anyone who buys a designer frame, or boutique frame will have the chance of getting the frame free of charge. Watch this space, and our Facebook page for details.

We look forward to the next 30 years!

2021 – COVID update Whitley Bay Opticians. We are available for all of your eye-care needs.

Happy New Year!

As an essential service, we remain open for the provision of all eye-care services, including:

Emergency eye-care

Eye examinations

Contact lens examinations

Glasses purchase and collections

Glasses repairs.

We continue to operate on an appointment only basis and would like to assure you that we operate under strict COVID compliance, with full PPE and disinfection procedures in place. We also restrict the number of patients in the practice at any one time, which is why we work on an appointment only basis.

Should you fine it difficult to be able to collect your contact lenses, please let us know so that we can try and organise a home delivery.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

All The Team.

Optician Awards – Independent Practice of the Year 2020

We are delighted to announce that we have once again been pronounced Independent Practice of the Year.

We cannot tell you how much this means to us in what has been a challenging year. Thank you so much to every member of our wonderful team, and to the amazing support of the public which makes this all possible.

We will continue to strive for clinical excellence, stand out fashion and 5* customer service, ensuring that we are deserving of this prestigious award that has been bestowed upon us.

Thank you!

COVID 19 – November 2020 Update

We will be remaining open

Following guidance from Public Health England, we are pleased to advise that, as an essential public service, we will remain open during the November lockdown. However, we are operating on an appointment only basis for all visits, including

  • Eye Examinations
  • Contact Lens Examinations
  • Product Collection
  • Glasses Adjustments
  • Repairs

Online booking is now available, and appointments of all types can be made by calling us on 0191 2516102. Current safety measures will continue to ensure the safety of our customers and our colleagues.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Whitley Bay Opticians are proud to sponsor a Local Hero

Did you know that the Disabled British Golf Open Champion is from Whitley Bay?

Jonathan Jones won the title in 2019 but was unable to defend his title this year due to COVID restrictions. He’s now been selected to play in the Phoenix Cup, the disability equivalent of the Ryder Cup. The tournament takes place over 6 courses including Carnoustie, Glenaeagles and Trump International. Originally against the USA, the competition will now between Britain and Ireland.

Jonny was born with a rare medical condition called arthrogryposis. Arthrogryposis affects muscle development in arms and wrists, causing wrist bones to fuse. With wonderful medical care from a team led by paediatric neurologist Professor David Gardner-Medwin, Jonny underwent a series of operations on his hands and feet to help his mobility.

When he took a keen interest in golf, his condition was never going to deter him from what he wanted to do – compete at the highest level.

The support of a loving family directed him to coaching by the late Ken Philips of Wallsend, and then to the expert guidance of Tynemouth’s John Mckenna.

A very unassuming young man, Jonny is someone our whole region can be proud of. This is why it is an honour for us to be able to help in the sponsorship programme.

We all wish you the very best of luck Jonny. Watch this space for how he gets on.

Can’t wait to see you all

Latest COVID19 Situation – We’re coming back very soon.

It’s been a very lonely time watching over the practice with all the staff furloughed – We didn’t even know what furlough was before March this year! Judith and Nigel have managed to keep the place ticking over; delivering triage advice on eye conditions, offering advice on visual problems, organising and delivering contact lenses and carrying out emergency repairs and glasses replacements.

Luckily we’ve had the help of 16 year old border terrier Mij to keep our spirits up. We are also indebted to our lovely customers who have been an absolute pleasure to deal with- THANK YOU!

We are delighted to say that the wait is almost over.

Week beginning June 15th:

we will be open Tuesday to Friday 9am – 2pm, and Saturday 9am – 1pm . Front line staff Lorna and Sue will be available to answer your queries, book appointments, help with glasses sales, and attend to any possible repairs.

Week beginning June 22nd and until further notice:

we will be open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and Saturday 9am – 1pm, optometrists John and Sophie will be back seeing patients face to face. You can book appointments for essential eye care in that period. The staff will be happy to guide you on what constitutes essential eye-care. We would highly recommend that patients choose our premium OCT examination; This gives the most thorough retinal examination as well as keeping safe distance between optometrist and patient.

The timings are likely to be amended to try and meet demand so please do keep checking this website for details.

Safety regulations

We have installed the following safety measures:

Safety screens set on reception desks

Hand sanitiser on entry and exit

Floor markings to ensure safe distance

Masks for Practitioners and patients during examination

Face shields, gloves and aprons for practitioners to be used as necessary

New instrumentation to measure pressure which does not have an aerosol effect

Automated instrumentation so as not to rely on traditional trial frames.

UV Frame sanitiser for display glasses (on order to arrive end of June (until then – frame cleansing process)

The health and safety of our patients and staff is of prime importance. Please do not come in if you or any of your household are suffering from COVID symptoms.

We are all really looking forward to welcoming you back.

Best wishes.

Nigel, Judith and All The Team

COVID-19 Update

Practice availability during “Lockdown”.

As you know we have been doing our utmost to ensure we are still able to offer something of an emergency service. However, the overwhelming message from the Government now is to “Stay at Home”.

For the protection of our staff and patients, we have decided to temporarily close the practice to routine appointments with immediate effect.

  • Throughout the crisis we are still available to provide emergency help and advice.
  • e-mails to info@robinsonoptometrists.co.uk are checked daily.
  • Telephone calls to our normal number of 0191 2516102 are monitored Monday to Saturday and any messages left will be returned.
  • We also have an emergency number of 07469 290 302
  • We have arranged home delivery of contact lenses for all our patients on automatic supply schemes.

We hope that you and your loved ones all remain healthy and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Kindest regards,

Nigel, Judith and all the Robinson Team

May 15th – Update

Thank you to everyone for all your lovely messages of support and gratitude for the services we have been able to provide. These have been a real tonic to us!

New Safety Measures

We are constantly preparing for the day we can safely start moving back to a “normal service”. This includes:

  • Investment in 2 new tonometers, to replace the “puff of air” test.
  • We have ordered a UV frame sterilisation unit for display frames.
  • We have installed plastic shields between patient and practitioner on our slit lamps.
  • Plastic screens between reception staff and the public.
  • Viusu-Real dispensing technology to minimise contact between patient and practitioner when taking spectacle lens measurements
  • Hand sanitiser stations
  • PPE worn by optometrist and dispensers

The safety of our customers and staff is paramount.

Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Best wishes,

Nigel and Judith

National Opticians Awards 2020

Robinson Optometrists short listed in two cateogories!

We are delighted to announce that, carrying the flag for Whitley Bay and The North East, we have once again been short-listed as finalists in two categories; Independent Practice of the Year, and Optical Assistant Team of the Year.

We have been informed that the competition has been stiffer than ever this year. Having won The Independent Award on 2 previous occasions and short-listed a further 2, we were amazed to once again be chosen.

This was probably due to a number of contributing factors:

  • We continue to strive to produce the very highest quality in eye-care and eye-wear.
  • We invest in the latest equipment, and very carefully select our team of experts, providing you with a very thorough examination. 2019 saw us take a major role in working with National Educational Body NCFE in developing a new training course for optical assistants. It is hoped that this will be rolled out in 2021.
  • A new piece of Community Art for Monkseaton, commendations from various medical professionals who we work with, and charity work for The Guide Dog Association were probably all paramount in the decision making.

As for the Optical Assistant short-listing- what can we say? We have such a fabulous team who are skilled in both clinical support and fashion advice. Since Nigel and Judith took a more back seat in the running of the Practice, the Team have provided a seamless transition!

One member Lorna, also runs our social media campaign; this has been widely complemented.

We are also very aware that we couldn’t achieve this without the support of our loyal client base ie YOU! We would just like to say a massive thank you to you all! Winners will be announced during a Gala Dinner at The NEC on Saturday April 4th. The full short list can be seen on the Opticians Awards website.

Five of us will make the journey and we hope to give a live Facebook feed from the event. We will publish the results on Social Media and in The News Guardian. Watch this space!

So – a big start to the Year. Obviously we will greatly miss Gary, as we’re sure many of you will, but we have a lot to look forward to.