The Date Difference

Meet the Team

Martin Spriggs BSc (Hons) MCOptom


Martin Spriggs, Date Opticians

Qualification and experience: I qualified in 1980 and have over 35 years experience, in a variety of multiple and independent opticians.

I was offered the opportunity to purchase Date Opticians in 2008 from Rae Date who was retiring. It was the best career decision I ever made, as I am passionate about the quality of care we offer – everyone is individual and has different needs.

Specialisms: I have a special interest in contact lenses and the management of dry eye – a common condition which is often missed. I have undertaken specialist training in dry eye.

Hobbies: Away from work I love to be active and enjoy the great outdoors, especially walking, running and tennis… and the occasional holiday, of course!

Rachael Brearey FBDO

Dispensing Optician

Rachael Brearey, Date Opticians

Qualification and experience: Since qualifying  in 2000, over 15 years ago, I have worked in a variety of practices .

I have worked for Date’s for over 2 years

Expertise: Achieving the perfect fit –I am passionate about correctly fitting spectacles. Lifestyle dispensing – identifying the individual needs of patients and finding real solutions to those needs.

Specialisms: Dry eye, children’s glasses, sports vision and spectacles.

Hobbies: Boxercise, horse riding, baking, moto GP and TT races.

Personal fact: 2002 – Firewalked over hot coals! 2000 – Climbed Helvellyn then 20 mile bike ride for Guide Dogs.

Clare Sheppard BSc (Hons) MCOptom


Claire Sheppard, Date Opticians

Qualification and experience: Studied in my home town of Bradford and qualified in 1992.

I have experience of both high street practices and smaller independents and joined the team at Date in summer 2015.

Specialisms: I enjoy working with and helping people of all ages. I always want to listen and take time to explain.

Hobbies: Socialising and eating out. Musicals and listening to music. Watching sport and going to the gym.

Sohail Salim BSc (Hons) MCOptom


Sohail Salim, Date Opticians

Qualification and experience: I qualified in 2003 and have worked in a variety of optical  practices. I joined Date’s over 2 years ago.

Specialisms: Glaucoma, macula degeneration and cataract.

Hobbies: I love to spend time with my family, the gym and badminton, and video games (sometimes).

Julie Himsworth

Optical assistant

Julie Himsworth, Date Opticians

Experience: Worked for Date’s for 12 years.
Previously worked in retail fashion so love helping patients to choose the frame which is right for them.
Specialisms: Contact lens advice and information.
Hobbies: I enjoy theatre shows, eating out and shopping (retail therapy).

Karen Stringfellow

Optical assistant

Karen Strignfellow, Date Opticians

Experience: Worked for Date’s for 11 years.
Previously worked in retail – ladies clothes. Always worked with the public.
Specialisms: Frame selection – I love helping people choose frames and making them feel good about their choices.
Hobbies: I love card making and other crafts.
Personal fact: Fab at 50 – have 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren.

Bev France

Optical assistant

Bev France, Date Opticians

Experience: Worked in optics since leaving college and for Date’s since 1982.
Specialisms: I thoroughly enjoy meeting people and helping them with their optical requirements; many I know on first name terms.
Hobbies: I love cooking, holidays and exercise and have completed The London Moonwalk Marathon, raising money for breast cancer.

Emma Thomasson

Optical assistant

Emma Thomasson, Date Opticians

Experience: I am the newest member of the team. I have a background in cosmetics which I find helps when selecting frame styles and colours for patients.
Hobbies: I love to go out to eat but I find I have to do quite a lot of exercise to counteract the effects of the fine food!



meet the team 1 small

‘Excellent patience and warm service from all staff’

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