Welcome to the team, Sadie!

We’re delighted to share that we have given a permanent job to the optical assistant who first joined us on work experience from school in May 2016.

We have appointed Sadie Bradbury to the role of part-time optical assistant at our Woodseats branch following a successful year long apprenticeship.

Sadie, who lives in Woodseats, said: “I enjoy working here and I’ve learnt a lot from the manager Cara Smith and Rachel Ireson, who is another optical assistant, as they’ve both been here for around 20 years each and they’re very good teachers.”

Having earned her diploma in level two business administration, Sadie is now looking forward to learning more about different lenses.

“We all get on really well and a lot of our tasks require good communication and team work. I get to do a lot of hands-on practical work here which I might not have had the opportunity to do had I worked for a chain optometrist,” she added.

Sadie will continue to work with other optical assistants Rachel and Kate Wilson at the practice, where her day to day tasks include manning the reception desk, dispensing glasses, selling frames, contact lens sales, assisting customers and cutting lenses.

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We’re looking for children with myopia to try a new contact lens

We recently attended some fascinating training about a ground breaking new soft contact lens that has been proven by experts at the University of Birmingham to slow the rate of myopia (short sightedness) progression in children. We were thrilled to be invited to be one of  only 50 practices in the UK to be part of the seeding partnership and we have been asked to closely follow the first 10 patients to use the MiSight lenses. So if you know anybody who would benefit from these new lenses and would be happy to be a part of our trial, please contact Alex Gage by e mailing alex@alexgagevision.co.uk with misight and the branch (Crosspool or Woodseats) you want to attend in the subject.

Thank you.

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Here are some before and after pics of our refurbished practice at Woodseats

We’re very proud to share some photos of our refurbished practice at 857 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats. Click on the images to enlarge them. You can compare them with the before pictures at the bottom of the page.

Our practice manager, Cara Smith is thrilled with the transformation: “There’s not a single area that hasn’t been refurbished and the white walls, grey carpet and black furniture give the practice a nice modern feel.

“Customers have told us it feels like we’ve knocked some walls down but we’ve actually just redesigned the layout to make better use of the space and to create an airy feel.”

The transformation was undertaken by shopfitters Lynx Interior Design Group who completed the refit in two weeks. The interior designers also supplied custom-made acrylic display units for the hundreds of frames and sunglasses that the practice stocks.

The wall units holding the unisex, men’s, women’s and children’s frames are back lit with LED lights, with one wall of lights that change colour.

“We think the displays really make a difference to our customers. It’s nice to see some of our regulars going for a different type of frame simply because they can view our selection better,” Cara added.

A new consultation area has been created behind the custom reception desk to allow for privacy. Furniture, including the dispensing desks and storage cupboards have been given a black high-gloss finish.

We think that it looks amazing and we hope that you do too! It’s hard to imagine how different it looked before, so here’s a reminder!

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We won the Most Active Organisation in the Yorkshire Cancer Research Workplace Challenge 2017

Yorkshire Cancer Research Move More Workplace Challenge Celebration Event at Westfield Health
Most Active Organisation
Alex Gage Optometrist – 334 average minutes per day

Thanks to Yorkshire Cancer Research for allowing us to share this great press release announcing our win!

Active workplaces honoured at celebration event

A Sheffield-based optometrist has been named as the city’s most active workplace as part of a challenge to get businesses on their feet.

Alex Gage Optometrist achieved the most active minutes as part of Move More Month’s Workplace Challenge, which saw more than 100 workplaces, 420 teams and 2,500 participants battle it out to reach the top spot.

The team, made up of five members of staff, clocked up a total of 52,132 minutes between them – which means on average each person moved for 334 minutes each day.

The Workplace Challenge is a web-based team activity competition for organisations and their employees. It used the specially designed Move More app, or pedometers and other popular apps to monitor employee movement.

The results were then displayed on a website, where participation medals were awarded and teams compared their efforts with others in a Move More League table.

Alex Gage said: “We are delighted to have won the Workplace Challenge this year – it’s been a very active month for all of us.

“At Alex Gage Optometrist, we were determined to get active for the workplace challenge so we all did a lot of walking in the evenings. Four of us had Fitbits and were already quite competitive with steps!

“To get my active minutes up, I made small changes like parking my car a few streets away from the practice so I could get in a few more steps along the way.

“Placing top in the challenge proves that every extra minute adds up and we’ll be trying to top our total minutes next year!”

The second most active organisation was B Braun who clocked up an average of 265 minutes per day, followed by South Yorkshire Housing with 218 average minutes a day.

Other winners on the night included Tracy Granger, from Hand Harriers (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals), who clocked up an impressive 16,679 active minutes across the month. The most improved team went to the hip fracture FLOW team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals who clocked up 163 average active minutes in week 1 and an average of 258 minutes on week 4, meaning an improvement of 94 minutes per day.

Professor Robert Copeland, director for the NCSEM and Move More, said: “I’d like to say a huge well done to the Alex Gage team for such impressive totals! They really have gone above and beyond to ‘Move More’ during June.

“The fact that more than 100 businesses got involved in the challenge has exceeded all our expectations. To know that so many people have not only supported the initiative, but completely embraced it has been so fantastic to see. It’s all about friendly competition between colleagues, businesses and organisations across Sheffield with the aim to encourage everyone to Move More.

“When asked, 57% of the challenge players reported not to be hitting government guidelines for physical activity at the beginning of the competition. We all know that in the workplace it is easy to spend the entire day at your desk but this challenge has shown that, with a conscious effort, it is actually very easy to make the changes needed to stay active.

“It’s about going out for a walk on your lunch break, walking to a meeting instead of taking the car and even teaming up with your colleagues for after work gym sessions. It is these things that can make a huge impact on a person’s overall health and wellbeing.

“We’re already looking forward to next year’s challenge and hope to see even more businesses getting on their feet as part of Move More Month.”

Yorkshire Cancer Research was the official partner of the challenge. The charity supported the initiative with a £50,000 investment as part of its new strategy to reduce the risk of cancer by encouraging healthy lifestyles. Four in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented through lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, eating well, drinking less alcohol, being active and staying safe in the sun.

Move More Month is a unique physical activity programme with the aim of getting thousands of people on the move across Sheffield.

Created by the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM), Move More Month encouraged the people of Sheffield to get active and to record their physical activity during June to see how many combined minutes the city can record.

Move More Month saw activities and initiatives held across the city, aiming to get people involved and generate a sense of city cohesion.

For more information about Move More Month visit www.movemoresheffield.com.

Thanks to YCR for the photo. Left to right, Joe Taylor, YCR, Cara Smith and Alex Gage from Alex Gage and Dr Ollie Hart.

 

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We’re stepping out to boost city’s health record

We’re thrilled to be leading the way in an innovative campaign to get Sheffield moving.

It’s the first time that we have signed up to the Move More Workplace Challenge, a physical activity programme that aims to transform Sheffield into the most active city in the UK by 2020.

Employees from our two practices in Woodseats and Crosspool have come together to create a team of five to enter the month-long competition which organisations and businesses across the city can take part in. The idea is that participants track their activity using the Move More app throughout June to reach a total that is recorded as a team.

At the end of day 17, the Alex Gage Optometrist team is still at the top of the Workplace Challenge leader board with 29,952 minutes spent exercising that equates to 374 minutes per team member, Woodseats practice manager Cara Smith said.

“With the competition finishing at the end of the month, we’re all taking our physical activity seriously, and I’m not alone in saying that this certainly makes us more aware of keeping fit while at work or outside of work.

“I was pleased to be involved as I’m trying to be more physically active and it’s nice to make the effort as a team. It’s even turned into a competition among ourselves as we’re all trying to challenge each other to the title of the person who has taken the most steps.”

Team captain and optometrist Sarah Gage said it provided an excellent opportunity to participate in a local health and wellbeing initiative that keeps everyone motivated.

The Move More Workplace Challenge is part of the city’s wider Move More programme led by the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) Sheffield as it embarks upon its mission to transform Sheffield into the most active in the UK by 2020.

It is a strategy designed to encourage those who live and work in Sheffield to be physically active on a daily basis so they can experience a really high quality of life and improve their health and wellbeing.

The independent charity Yorkshire Cancer Research is partnering with the NCSEM to deliver the Workplace Challenge aspect of Move More Month 2017.

June has been designated Sheffield’s Move More Month with a dedicated schedule of physical activity offered by partners across Sheffield including Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Hillsborough Leisure Centre and various parks in the city.

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Alex Gage boosts awareness drive for Glaucoma Awareness Week

In a bid to show his support behind the National Glaucoma Awareness Week campaign that began yesterday, Alex Gage is working alongside the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) to educate people about the importance of a regular eye health check as it allows testing of raised eye pressure – an indicator of the condition.

National Glaucoma Awareness Week runs from June 12-18 as an initiative run by the UK charity IGA that provides help for those affected by sight loss from glaucoma and people interested in glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that causes patchy vision and can lead to blindness when the optic nerve is damaged where it leaves the eye.

It is incredibly important to educate people about the importance of having a regular eye examination, not just for glaucoma detection but many other eye and vision conditions, said Alex, who owns practices in Woodseats and Crosspool.

“It might shock some to hear that the only way to know if you have glaucoma is to have your eyes examined at your local optometrist,” he added.

“You may think your vision is fine but this is not an indicator of eye health and so we are taking this current opportunity to inform residents of the importance of looking after their eyes.

“There are three routine examinations to see whether a patient is at risk of the condition. These include looking at the appearance of the main nerve in the eye, called the optic nerve; measuring the pressure in the eye and checking the field of vision.”

The focus for National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2017 is on the importance of eye pressure during a regular eye health check. If the condition is detected early, it can be managed and patients can retain useful sight for life.

Chief Executive of the IGA Karen Osborn said: “People have such a limited knowledge about the health of their eyes. All too often we hear that people do not have an eye health check until they realise that something is wrong with their vision. This is too late for glaucoma as a significant amount of vision will be lost, and it can never be recovered.”

According to the IGA website, from this year onwards, many optometrists will undergo training for additional qualifications to allow them to better detect and monitor those living with glaucoma in the community.

If you have any further questions, concerns about glaucoma or wish to find out more about the services available at Alex Gage Family Optometrist, please contact Alex Gage at 857 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats on 0114 274 8582 or at 48 Sandygate Road, Crosspool on 0114 266 7066.

Posted in Eye Disorders, Eye Examinations, Eyecare, Glaucoma, Optometry, Vision | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Remember eye health care during Diabetes Week

Diabetics should have regular appointments with an optometrist in addition to their annual diabetic retinopathy screening – that is the message from a Sheffield optometrist as Diabetes Week began yesterday.

Alex Gage, the owner of two optometry practices, stressed that it is not just diabetics that need to be aware of the importance of having an eye examination.

4.5 million people in the UK live with the condition while 11.9 million are at increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. Eye examinations are invaluable as they can detect diabetes at an early stage.

“As optometrists, we have an extremely important part to play in educating and reminding patients, diabetic or otherwise, about the importance of having an eye exam,” Alex added.

“During Diabetes Week, I would like to raise awareness of the condition. It’s crucial that people understand the seriousness of diabetes, and realise that diabetic people are actually more at risk of developing complications with their eyes.

“This is why we are encouraging diabetics in the local area to make sure they have a routine eye exam every year to keep check of the overall health of their eyes. That should be in addition to diabetic retinopathy screening.”

Diabetes Week runs until 17 June and the theme for 2017 is ‘Know diabetes. Fight diabetes’.

Alex added: “You can get signs of diabetes in the eyes such as variable vision from day to day and leaking blood vessels at the back of the eyes if the condition remains uncontrolled for a long time.

“An eye exam can also pick up other health conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.”

Diabetes is a life-long health condition that occurs when the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body can’t use it properly. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells, meaning no insulin is produced. This causes glucose to rise quickly in the blood.

With Type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, or the insulin it makes doesn’t work properly, meaning glucose builds up in the blood. About 90 per cent of people living with diabetes have Type 2. Both can be life-threatening if not treated and managed.

Retinopathy is damage to the retina and is a complication that can affect people with diabetes. It is the most common cause of blindness among people of working age in the UK.

If you have any concerns about your eye health or you have diabetes and would like to get your eyes examined, please contact Alex Gage Family Optometrist at 857 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats on 0114 274 8582 or at 48 Sandygate Road, Crosspool on 0114 266 7066.

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Congratulations, Rachel

We’re delighted to report that our optical assistant Rachel Ireson has been with us for over 20 years!

Rachel has worked in our Chesterfield Road, Woodseats practice for 20 years, and worked for the previous owner, Mr Egginton for four years before that.

Rachel and husband, Stephen, celebrated with a meal at family owned Italian restaurant, Marco @ Milano in Millhouses.

Rachel reflected on the last 20 years: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Alex and the team over the last two decades.

“Much has changed, notably computerisation and doing our own glazing, a skill that I was delighted to learn. More recently, it has been great to witness the amazing transformation that the refurbishment at Woodseats has made.”

Speaking about Rachel’s long service, Alex said: “Dedicated staff members like Rachel are an increasing rarity nowadays and she is a very valued and respected member of the team and a real credit to the business.”

Rachel concluded: “I particularly enjoy seeing someone trying something new or different in their frames, maybe something more fashionable or bolder as a result of my recommendation and seeing them benefit from their new lens choices. I often select a frame for a patient and they will try lots more on, but they often come back to the one that I first chose for them. I’m looking forward to many more years with Alex and the team.”

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Optometrist sets out vision for eye care in 2017

foods-for-healthy-vision

An independent optometrist has shared five resolutions we can all make to keep our eyes healthy in 2017.

Alex Gage, who owns two Sheffield optometry practices, has drawn out the guidelines to remind people how important it is to pay attention to the condition of their eyes as the new year heralds a focus on healthcare.

Having practised in the city for over 20 years, Alex leads a team of experienced optometric and dispensing staff.

He says that eye care is crucial to the overall health of our bodies but many tend to neglect it.

“The new year provides us all with an excellent opportunity to really examine the state of our bodies, and reflect on how we can look after them better.

“People tend to focus on their fitness and health which is absolutely necessary but we’re also strongly encouraging people to keep their eyes healthy with these resolutions.”

The first piece of advice from the eye care specialist is to book an eye examination. “Typically, optometrists recommend you get your eyes examined every two years but this is different for people over the age of 40 and ethnic minorities.

“An eye examination can detect other conditions such as stroke and diabetes early as well as any vision problems.”

He added that eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and foods containing essential nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E will help to ward off age-related vision problems. In line with this, a balanced diet will help maintain a healthy weight to avoid problems linked to being overweight which can affect your sight.

“We are increasingly spending more time on gadgets and staring at computer screens for long periods of time without taking a break.

“This can put a strain on the eyes or cause dry eyes so it’s essential to be conscious of this and stick to the 20-20-20 rule: spend 20 seconds every 20 minutes looking at something at least 20 feet away.

“There is also a growing body of evidence that outside play in daylight not only takes children away from their computer screens, but vitamin D that is produced by the skin with the aid of sunlight has been shown to reduce the risk of myopia (short sight)”

Finally, he added that smokers are more susceptible to experiencing eye issues and compared to non-smokers, are more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Posted in Children's eyecare, Eye Examinations, Eyecare, Optometry, Vision | Tagged , | 2 Comments

We marked 20 years in business by recreating iconic photo

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Here’s the story of how it came about…

Twenty years ago, Alex Gage Family Optometrist opened the doors to its Woodseats practice on Chesterfield Road for the first time and to mark the anniversary, the owner has recreated a picture taken at the opening event.

Alex Gage made contact with the girl, Catherine Wort, who appears in the photo wearing glasses aged just one at the time, to take a similar photograph to celebrate the optometrist’s longevity in providing family eye care to the community of Woodseats.

Alex Gage bought his first practice in Woodseats in 1996 then opened another branch in Broomhill before relocating the latter practice to bigger premises in Crosspool.

Establishing his own optometry practice had been one of Alex’s aims since graduating from the University of Manchester with a BSc degree in optometry in 1990 “Providing high levels of quality vision care to customers was what my wife, Sarah and I set out to achieve when we established the business.

“With the help and support of our great teams at both practices, we have been able to expand the range of services, invest in the latest technical equipment and offer an extensive range of optical brands.”

Currently, the image of one-year old Catherine hangs near the reception desk at Woodseats, and Alex plans to position the new one next to it.

He also intends to use the images on the website and for social media.

“We have always loved the picture and, as we are trying to find patients who have been with us for 20 years, we thought that it would be a nice idea to recreate the iconic picture of Catherine. We hope our customers like it as much as we do.”

Now a business student at Bath Spa University, Catherine was visiting the city with family on the day of the opening in Woodseats when she was asked to appear in the photo.

“I was delighted to help Alex to publicise his landmark 20th anniversary because it’s clear that he has an incredible work ethic and he is dedicated to his profession.”

The 21-year-old wears the glasses she needs for everyday use in the anniversary image.

Alex works with wife, Sarah and a team of seven at the Woodseats branch where they are offering a special 20th anniversary discount. Anyone who buys complete spectacles at the branch will receive £20 off frames until January 2017.

“From the team, our optical assistant Rachel Ireson will also be marking 20 years of working here while our manager Cara Smith has been with us for 17 years, so it’s a special time for everyone.

“Achieving 20 years of practice at Woodseats is quite something and we’d like to concentrate on serving the vision needs of the respective communities of Woodseats and Crosspool for another 20 years.

“We’re also looking forward to welcoming our eldest daughter Emma into the business when she qualifies as an optometrist in 2020.”

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