Our staff past and present and many of our patients came to enjoy a delightful afternoon at our Winchester branch, replete with cheese, wine, scrumptious cakes, and captivating performances by the talented artists from Blue Apple Theatre in honour of this momentous milestone. We were delighted that Angela Clear, Mayor of Winchester was able to join us, and Winchester Radio were also in attendance.
We held a raffle to support Blue Apple Theatre, brimming with fabulous prizes generously donated by local Winchester businesses including a star prize of a beautiful jewellery set from Jeremy France Jewellers, and many additional prizes from Ben's Pilates, Piecaramba, Rick Stein, ME Collective, Associates Hair, The Body Shop, and more. Furthermore, we hosted a "Guess the Name of the Bear" competition, affectionately named 'Alfred' in tribute to our founder, Alfred Rawling. The raffle was a resounding success, raising £960 for Blue Apple Theatre, which Rawlings doubled and rounded up to a £2000 donation. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated in the raffle. Blue Apple Theatre is a local charity, offering acting, singing, and dancing opportunities to individuals with learning disabilities.
Claire Shipway talked to us about the history of Rawlings Opticians & Hearing Care and her career which has spanned over 45 years from junior stockroom worker at the age of 16 when Rawlings was a much smaller enterprise through her training as a Dispensing Optician, rise to Manager of Chandlers Ford branch then to her current position as HR director and Company Chair. Of course, although our Winchester branch is 100 years old the company is actually 127 years old with Croydon being the first branch, opening in 1895.