The director of an opticians in Helston has won a national award for transforming his business into an independent practice.

Adam Matthews, who is also optometrist at Matthews Opticians and Hearing Care on Coinagehall Street, won the Newly-Qualified Optometrist of the Year prize at the Association of Optometrists Awards 2020.

Qualifying in the summer of 2016, Adam became director at the age of just 24 when he took it over in 2018.

He had joined the practice the year before, when it was a Vision Express store, but the opportunity presented itself for the store to become independent from the nationwide chain.

Seeing the potential of the practice and wanting to continue to deliver for his patients, Adam took the plunge and decided to take over as a director just two years after qualifying.

This meant all of the staff remained at the practice and could continue to serve their patient base, with thousands of pounds invested in state-of-the-art optical technology.

Adam said: “Taking over the practice was a huge leap of faith as there was no rule book on how to do it, but it was one of those instances that present themselves up at a surprising time; you just have to take that opportunity and not look back.

“I think this award is proof that becoming Matthews Opticians and Hearing Care has paid off and it’s all testament to the support of my team members in creating a successful practice, also down to the unwavering loyalty of our patients.

“Personally, working within an industry alongside many other high achieving professionals, it can be challenging to stand out. That’s why winning this award, or even being nominated, is so special.

“My team will share this achievement, and my patients and customers can enjoy and celebrate with us. Professionally, it means I will be able to connect with more people, to create a positive change within the local and wider community.”

The annual Association of Optometrists Awards, which took place at the Excel Centre in London, is one of the leading events of its type and celebrates excellence in the optometry profession. It recognises outstanding talent, innovation and exceptional contributions made by individuals and teams across the UK.

Adam’s category recognises those who have qualified in the last three years and, in that time, have launched themselves into the early years of their career with enthusiasm and professionalism, going above and beyond their day job.