2014, a year to be proud of.
With 2014 all buttoned up, it’s an appropriate time to look back and take stock of what Valli Opticians Group have achieved over the past 12 months. The year began in a light hearted manner with Valli Opticians joining hundreds of people across the UK helping to make winter easier for more older people, by raising awareness of Age UK’s Bobble Day. The Valli team members all dressed up in their warmest winter wollies, making donations to attend work in their best knitwear and selling bobbles for the day raising much needed funds.
Valli Opticians was in the media once again in February, with the purchase of the seventh practice, Barbara Watson Eyecare in Outwood, Wakefield. All Barbara Watsons staff have been welcomed into the Valli Group and they are all now valued members of the team.
After a fun, fuel-filled fundraising gala for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice hosted at the Lewis James car showroom in Huddersfield in May, CEO Moin Valli and fellow businessman Andrew McGee of TFive Design set off on a four day mini tour of Europe for the charity in classic 1966 MG BGT, raising a much needed £6000.
Early summer saw more than 3000 people cast their vote resulting in optometrist Kamal Aftab being named Guardians Volunteer of the year. As well as working as an optometrist for the Valli Group Kamal volunteers as a regional youth leader and mentor for Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Associations (AMYA) – a charity that seeks to teach young people life skills by engaging them in community and charitable initiatives. Kamal has worked on countless projects for different charities, he even rallied a team together to travel to Somerset during the 2014 floods.
As Tour de France fever gripped Yorkshire, things started a bit early for Valli Opticians as Robin Bennett the Wakefield Practice manager staged his own Le Tour challenge to raise money for the local Wakefield Sight Aid charity. On June 27th, Robin cycled from Outwood to Hebden Bridge via Honley, Lockwood, Almondbury, and Mytholmroyd before heading back to Wakefield, taking in all of the group’s practices and part of the second stage of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart.
The intrepid MG BGT barely had time to cool down before the Valli Group took her for a spin to the Hebden Bridge Vintage Car weekend, raising awareness of the importance of regular eye tests. Valli backed Huddersfield-based charity Brake’s Sharpen Up campaign to encourage drivers to have their eyes checked regularly. The group offered fellow drivers the opportunity to have their eyes checked on the spot using an iPad test chart free of charge.
In September Valli Opticians Group teamed up with Huddersfield Chef Ashley Coley to launch two new ‘eye healthy’ food recipes for National Eye Health week (22 – 28 September 2014). Coinciding with this, the Valli Group also launched the new Macular Monitoring service. Age-related Macula Degeneration (AMD) is the number one cause of vision loss and blindness in the over 50s and causes a gradual loss of central vision. With almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss, over half of these cases can be avoided and this accentuates the importance of regular eye tests.
With Christmas on the horizon the year began to close in a similar fashion to its beginning with the staff at Valli Opticians pulling on their craziest Christmas woollies for Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. From Wakefield to Hebden Bridge, all staff dressed up in winter wollies to raise awareness and money for this worthy cause. Donating just £2 or more per staff member, the aim was to raise money to help save children’s lives around the world, from Syria to Liberia, Brazil to Bangladesh.
2014 came to a glittering close with the inaugural Valli Staff Awards. This glamorous event saw staff and representatives from key suppliers coming together to celebrate staff achievements and to recognise the contributions of all concerned. Revellers gathered for an evening dedicated to celebrating the very best in optical care and customer service. The awards, organised by Moin Valli and his wife Rachel, have been established to give recognition for the outstanding achievements of the team, and to acknowledge the efforts of individuals who have demonstrated true adherence to Valli Group customer service aspirations.
If the last year has proved to be pretty good for Valli Group, 2015 looks like it will be even brighter. From humble beginnings in 2005 with the first practice, Valli Opticians Group has become highly respected by clients and in the optical industry as a whole. Since 2013 the company has won numerous awards, including Company of the Year at the Association of Optometry Awards, Business Excellence Award at the Optician Awards, and Moin was also named Young Business Person of the Year at the Examiner Business Awards.