Hedge End

Hedge End optician

Branch Information

Welcome to our friendly practice in the heart of Hedge End. We have been established in Hedge End for over 25 years, and still have some of the same staff! We are very proud of our professional staff’s knowledge and expertise and we keep up to date by regularly attending training events and conferences, to ensure that you are given the most current information on the latest innovative products available. We offer a range of designer frames, including Oakley, Longchamp, and William Morris with lots of choice for children too. And if you are looking for something a bit different, then come and have a peek at our more unusual frames, including Coco Song, Vanni, and Dutz. We will give you a ‘personal shopping’ experience to make sure you look (and see) your best. Plus with golf courses and the Solent just a stone’s throw away, come and see how our sports eyewear could really make a difference to your performance on the green or the water!

Our Optometrists, Simon, Kate and Pamela are passionate about providing the best possible eyecare and advice for the whole family, including dry eye and contact lens consultations for everyone from varifocal wearers to children.

Dispensing Opticians, Sara, Janet and Joyce, know everything there is to know about frames and lenses with over 60 years of knowledge between them. Melanie and Trish, our Optical Assistants, will greet you with a beaming smile and are always happy to help.

Feel free to come and say hello and meet our team, all of whom will be delighted to help in any way they can. We look forward to seeing you soon!


10 St John's Centre
Hedge End
SO30 4QU
Click for map


Tel: 01489 784346
Fax: 01489 795905

Opening times

Temporary changes in opening hours due to Coronavirus
Please email info@rawlingsopticians.co.uk


Sara Shipway Sara Shipway FBDO

I started with Rawlings as a shy eighteen year old, working on reception in Winchester. I quickly discovered that I could have an interesting and challenging career at Rawlings and enrolled on the course to become a Dispensing Optician. The course structure was comprised of home study plus one day a week in London. I absolutely hated travelling every week, it was a long day starting with getting up at 5.30 a.m. to catch the 6.30 a.m. train! But I stuck it out and I am so glad I did.

I love being a dispensing optician. I really enjoy chatting to all patients and completing the course gave me the technical depth of knowledge to give the very best advice on lens types and frames to help our patients to look their best and have the clearest vision possible. I also have my career at Rawlings to thank for introducing me to my husband – Tim Shipway from the Alresford branch! 2015 was quite a year for me. I was promoted to the role of practice manager at the Hedge End branch. Moving from the Winchester branch was a big move for me as I was with them for just over 12 years, but the people of Hedge End have been very welcoming and I am thoroughly enjoying the responsibilities of management. In April 2015 Tim and I were thrilled to announce the birth of our daughter, Isla, followed in 2017 by Annabelle.

Optometrists / Contact Lens Opticians

Simon Cabell
Simon Cabell
BSc MCOptom

My Optics career started at a local contact lens manufacturer as a college student in the 1980s. I then joined Rawlings in 1993 after graduating from Aston University. I qualified in 1994 while working at the Alton and Winchester branches. Read more...

After a couple of years I joined the Hedge End branch and now work mainly at Hedge End with one day a week back in Winchester. I have been involved with staff training in a supervisory role which is very rewarding and was also a committee member and instructor at the Aston University Archery Club. At Rawlings I enjoy fitting a wide variety of modern high tech. contact lenses particularly with sports and hobbies in mind.

Out of work I enjoy playing guitar and running. In my free time I also support local charities such the Portsmouth Hospital's Charity the Rocky Appeal. I also enjoy sporting events such as the Great South Run. My family and I also like to visit museums and places of historical interest.

Kate Malam
Kate Malam
BSc MCOptom

I qualified at City University in Islington in 1991 then worked in London for 11 years. After I got married and had children, we moved to Winchester, where I got a job with Rawlings working on Saturdays. Read more...

I now work 3 days a week at Rawlings travelling between 4 Hampshire branches which I enjoy very much. Each branch has its own personality and I enjoy the variety although of course I still get to see my regular patients at each branch.

I keep up to date with new developments in optometry by attending conferences, meetings and seminars which cover a wide variety of topics including contact lenses, UV protection, optometric technology and eye diseases.

On my days off I enjoy riding my horse, carriage driving, and walking my retired greyhound.
Debbie Heath
Debbie Heath

My first job after leaving college was with Whitbread's Brewery working in customer services, but after five years an opportunity arose to work at CIBA Vision (now Alcon), a contact lens manufacturer. Read more...

Whilst I was there as a Customer Service Supervisor my interest in the clinical side of contact lenses grew and grew and I realised that I really wanted to work with the people wearing the lenses, rather than the people making the lenses!

I was able to gain my Dispensing Optician qualification whilst working at CIBA Vision, and this was the first step towards becoming a qualified Contact Lens Optician in 2003. I continued to work at CIBA Vision whilst also seeing patients in the "real world". Combining the two careers gave me a unique insight into the more technical side of lenses and enabled me to become involved in problem solving difficult cases. I eventually joined the Professional Services team offering advice to other contact lens opticians and optometrists. However ultimately I decided my real enjoyment came from helping patients, so In May 2003 I joined Rawlings as a Dispensing and Contact Lens Optician, and currently work at the Hedge End and Winchester practices. I specialise in fitting multifocal contact lenses, and have a keen interest in myopia control and ortho keratology. I am also regularly involved in spectacle dispensing, and am happy to advise on low vision aids.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family, particularly my eleven year old son, and I love to travel whenever the opportunity arises.
David Barker
Pamela Potts BSc

I qualified as an Optometrist in 1983 and have been with Rawlings since 1994 having previously worked with another independent optical group. I enjoy all aspects of Optometry, particularly in advising patients on the best visual correction possible, whether in contact lenses, with spectacles or both. I like to see a wide variety of patients from babies to those in their nineties and beyond. I feel I particularly understand patients of a certain age who may have varied visual needs, and require many pairs of glasses. I am one of them! Read more...

I attend many professional courses and conferences to improve and further my knowledge and skills, and particularly enjoy the interaction of peer to peer discussion groups both with my Rawlings colleagues and with the wider optometric community.

I enjoy all outdoor activities particularly skiing, hill walking and tennis and have recently taken up golf. I am also an active and vocal member of a book group. Needless to say, these differing hobbies all require good eyesight hence my collection of great spectacles!

Outside of work I try to play golf when time allows and probably spend far too much time following the trials and tribulations of Crystal Palace FC.

Our Dispensing Team

Sara Shipway FBDO (Manager)
Janet Bagley FBDO
Joyce Wisby FBDO
Debbie Heath FBDO CL

Nearest car park

Immediately behind the practice. Free parking for up to 2 hours

Nearest bus stops & routes

Bus stop right outside practice and on opposite side of the street
Good links from Southampton, Bitterne, West End, Thornhill Park, Millbrook and Hedge End
X11, W56 and Bluestar 3

Nearest train stations

Hedge End, Southampton and Eastleigh

Disabled access

Excellent, wheelchair access through both practice doors and consulting room doors. Practice is all on one level.


Out of hours eyecare for customers of the Hedge End practice

There are occasions when emergency treatment is needed for the eyes. If you are concerned and it is outside of our opening hours there is an eye casualty department based at Southampton General Hospital which is open Monday to Sunday 8am to 6pm.

If you have an urgent eye problem outside of these hours, please contact your GP to access their out of hours service or call 111 for further advice. An ophthalmologist is on call in case of an emergency. For more information click on this link. click this link for further information.

If you are not sure whether you need emergency attention click this link for further information. The phone number for advice from the eye emergency team is 02381 206592 or call 111. Click here for directions to the hospital. Click here for directions to the hospital.

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