Optometrists beat COVID-19 disruption to get first-class degrees

Sylvie Antrobus (left) and Agi Solya
(Last Updated On: September 18, 2020)

Two talented Torbay women have set their sights on a bright future after graduating as optometrists with top honours.

Sylvie Antrobus and Agi Solya recently graduated from Plymouth University’s School of Optometry and Vision Science and are now working as pre-registration optometrists in the two Torquay Specsavers stores.

Both received first-class degrees – but they weren’t always sure they would experience such success, with COVID-19 disrupting their exams.

Sylvie says: ‘Doing final year exams is stressful enough, without adding the uncertainty of Covid-19 as well. At one point, I was unsure whether we’d be able to finish. It’s such a relief to have graduated. I’m really happy with my results and excited to get started with Specsavers.’

To get essential experience in the optometry profession, both women worked at the Torquay stores in their summer holidays, where store directors Simon Simmonds and Gordon Graham were able to support their education.

Agi adds: ‘I’m really grateful that Specsavers has been able to continue my career, because I know people who’ve lost out due to the pandemic. Simon and Gordon have given us great support. To receive this opportunity is amazing – and terrifying at the same time.’
Agi is based primarily in the Willows store, inside Sainsbury’s, while Sylvie will focus more of her time at the Union street store.

Simon Simmonds says: ‘We’re really proud to have been able to provide Agi and Sylvie security and continue their path into the profession of optometry. They are a delight to be around. They have a fantastic attitude and are a real asset to our professional team.

‘In these times of uncertainty and health concerns, it’s as important as ever to have the best people and equipment to keep our patients safe and to preserve their vision.’

The Torquay stores have the latest eye-testing equipment, including the new hospital-grade OCT machines (Optical Coherence Tomography), which allows 3D imaging of the eye, enabling the optometrist to detect conditions such as glaucoma and macula degeneration up to four years earlier than before.

To book an eye test with Agi or Sylvie, or with any of the stores’ optometrists, call 01803 213833 or go online at www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/torquaywillows.

You can join us on our social media pages, follow us on Facebook or Twitter and keep up to date with whats going on in South Devon.

Got a news story, blog or press release that you’d like to share or want to advertise with us? Contact us