Winchester


Winchester optician

Branch Information

We look forward to welcoming you to Rawlings biggest branch. The wealth of knowledge and experience that our staff have gained over the many years they have worked with us is unrivalled by any other opticians in Winchester and we are proud to have offered optical services here since 1923. Our centenary year in 2023 saw the opening of our audiology suite, in addition to our optical services we now offer wax removal for adults and children aged 5 and over and free hearing tests.

We are specialists in paediatric spectacle dispensing and have a particular interest in fitting contact lenses for children and Myopia Management. Our Optometrists give a full and thorough eye examination and we are able to image the back of your eye at greater depth than using photography alone using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), allowing us to study your eyes in incredible detail. OCT is the most advanced ocular imaging technique and uses light waves to collect thousands of cross-sectional images of the inside of the eyes and allows us to detect ocular disease such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and other retinal abnormalities much earlier.

Our Optometrists are passionate about contact lenses and our Winchester branch is our specialist centre for Ortho-k - contact lenses that correct your vision while you sleep!

We also offer high fashion designer frames, sports eyewear and low-vision aids. Our customers tell us that they value the help and advice they are given when choosing frames, but we can also put on contact lenses for you or use our iPad imaging technology to help you choose. Whatever your query, we're here to help so call or email and see for yourself.

Address

60 High Street
Winchester
SO23 9BX
Click for map

Telephone

Tel: 01962 862492

Opening times

Monday to Friday: 08.30 - 17.30
Saturday: 08.30 - 17:30

Manager

Chris Hobbs Chris Hobbs FBDO

I have worked for Rawlings Opticians since 1991 when I began working as a technician in our optical workshop. I spent 10 years working in that role and this work gave me a fantastic grounding in the technical side of spectacle lenses and frames. It’s a valuable background that still helps me to this day when it comes to helping you choose the best frame and lenses to suit your lifestyle and image.

I qualified as a Dispensing Optician from City & Islington College in 2004 having worked hard continuing my employment at Rawlings and studying in my spare time. I soon became manager of our Hedge End branch where I spent 10 years in the role. Whist I enjoyed my time in Hedge End I jumped at the chance to manage our Chandlers Ford branch when the opportunity arose as I grew up and went to school in Chandlers Ford. The branch had recently moved premises and its new position in Fryern Arcade and complete redesign had helped the practice grow and expand I am now delighted to be taking the helm at the Winchester branch.

I live close by in Eastleigh and my passion is the guitar which I have played for 30 years. I have a collection of five guitars – my pride and joy being a Gibson Les Paul. I play in a local band and we enjoy performing the occasional gig in pubs in Hampshire.

Assistant Manager

Roger Beckett Roger Beckett FBDO

I qualified in 1990 as a Dispensing Optician and have worked in the Hampshire area in the optical profession most of my working life. I joined the Rawlings Winchester practice in 1999 and was attracted as it is still a family run business which has allowed me the professional freedom to advise on a wide range of products and services. I have a keen interest in general spectacle and paediatric dispensing.

At home my interests include gardening, geology and science, I am also a keen cyclist.

Optometrists / Contact Lens Opticians / Audiologists

Rachael Smith
Rachael Smith
BSc MCOptom DipTp(IP) MBCLA


I have worn glasses since the age of 4, but life changed and my passion for optics was ignited when I had my first contact lenses at age 10. Over the years I have developed this area of special interest and I have consulted for major contact lens companies both in discussion groups and on new product trials. I still love my contact lenses for socialising and sport but these days usually enjoy matching one of my pairs of glasses to whatever clothes I decide to wear. Read more...

After graduating from City University in London I worked in Petersfield and the surrounding area, followed by the Isle of Wight before settling near Winchester in 1999. Outside of work I love to cook (and of course I always wear my contact lenses for chopping onions – no streaming eyes!) I sing in Thornden Community Choir, and travel as much as I can. I especially love skiing – I think almost 30 years of working indoors with no windows makes me long for the vast expanse of the mountains. I also go to several conferences each year – I find exchanging ideas with other Optometrists and keeping right up to date is part of what makes me love my job so much!

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.

David Barker
Pamela Potts BSc
MCOptom


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!

Debbie Heath
Debbie Heath
FBDO CL


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 young son, and I love to travel whenever the opportunity arises.

Jasnique Tiwana
Jasnique Tiwana
BOptom MCOptom


I started my Optics journey in a High Street chain where I worked from the age of 18 (in Birmingham before moving to the sunny south) with my interest in the field starting at a young age when I needed glasses and later moving into contact lenses. However, at 18 I embarked on a degree course in the completely unrelated field of Forensic Science! Read more...

Although I enjoyed the course, which allowed me to travel and study for part of the course in Holland, I quickly realised that a career in Optics was really what I wanted to pursue. More years of studying followed in order for me to attain my optometry degree from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. My Forensic Science background has given me an eye for detail and precision, and the medical element of that first degree has given me a great skillset for my career as an Optometrist – a role that involves an investigative element too!

I particularly enjoy the precision involved in making people see to the best of their ability with spectacles or contact lenses whether child or adult. I know from my own experience how life enhancing good vision is. Outside of work I have a particular passion for travel and food and immersing myself into different cultures and trying new experiences.


Helena Jenkins-Hewes
Helena Jenkins-Hewes
BSc MCOptom


I have always had a keen interest in Optics having started wearing spectacles myself at just 2 years old. My passion was ignited when undertaking work experience in a local practice at 15 and from there the rest is history. I started working as an optical receptionist at 16 and continued to do so whilst studying for my A levels and Degree. I qualified from Cardiff University in 2010 with my Optometry Degree.Read more...

I enjoy all aspects of clinical practice, including improving diagnostic techniques and determining the most suited optical corrections for all patients. Having started wearing spectacles young and knowing the progression in my own correction I have a particular interest in myopia management options to try and slow down the rate at which children increasingly become more short-sighted as they grow, including Ortho-Keratology.

I am always keen to further develop my professional skills to deliver the best for my patients and have undertaken courses with Moorfields looking at dry eye management and am currently working towards Independent Prescribing status.

When not at work you will find me enjoying family time with my husband and toddler, either having exciting outdoor adventures or baking a masterpiece together at home!


Bill Mills
Bill MIlls
MSHAA


I am passionate about my job, and I believe in giving excellent service delivered with trust and integrity and clients regularly refer friends and family to me. When the position of Audiology Lead with Rawlings Opticians came up, I knew it was the perfect role as I wanted to work with a genuinely “independent” hearing device provider, not one which is either owned or allied to one particular brand. Read more...

I knew from experience that this would give me the opportunity to give a more professional service to tailor the hearing solution more specifically to the patients’ individual requirements. Offering wax removal and earplugs as well leads to an interesting and varied working day.

My life as a Hearing Aid Audiologist began in 2014 when I decided to have a career change as having had many years of international travel working in the textile industry, I wanted to be based in the UK for a better work/life balance. I enjoy working with people and to be able to genuinely improve someone’s quality of life puts a smile on my face (as well as my patients!) when they realise what a difference hearing well can make to them. Providing audiology services has seen me working in Devon for a hearing brand before moving to Hampshire to deliver hearing care for a national optical company. Previously based in Lymington, I have worked across multiple locations across Hampshire and Dorset.

I live in the small village of Catherington in Hampshire which I share with my partner and our 8 month old GoldenDoodle puppy, Ted. I am an ardent follower of Liverpool football club and in my spare time love tinkering with old cars.


Ryan Blake
Ryan Blake
MSHAA, RHAD


My audiology career started in 2014 at a large chain of opticians where I was initially employed in the optical side of the business, however I quickly realised I was more interested in ears than eyes. I embarked on the hearing care assistant course, and was soon trained to program hearing aids, complete hearing assessments, and manage the aftercare of hearing aids. Read more...

I decided I wanted to gain more knowledge and expertise - by this time I knew that audiology was where my future lay so I started my foundation degree in Hearing Aid Audiology at De Montfort University and graduated in 2021.

During the course my interest in hearing aid technology grew tremendously and my understanding and passing on the benefits that private hearing aids offer over NHS aids for my patients is my top priority. By working at Rawlings Opticians & Hearing Care I can give patients more choice due to Rawlings being independent, so I am not restricted in my recommendations by being tied to a single manufacturer. This really allows me to offer the best advice and was the main reason for me choosing Rawlings Opticians & Hearing Care to progress my audiology career.

I currently live in the town of Andover with my young family. I have a toddler who always keeps me busy so any hobbies I once had are now on hold.


Emma Perkis
Emma Perkis
HCA


I have been working in Optics for 24 years and am a Dispensing Assistant in our Winchester branch. I was first involved in Audiology around 10 years ago when I worked for a multiple opticians where I enjoyed learning to carry out hearing aid repairs and other related tasks, so when Rawlings announced they were going to merge Hearing Care into the business I was thrilled! I had moved to working to Rawlings in 2022 as I knew an independent opticians would give me wider experience and more time to build a relationship with my patients and be part of a close-knit team, so the launch of hearing care here was the cherry on the cake for me. Read more...

During my HCA course, my passion for Audiology grew. One of my favourite things I learned was how to take impressions of the ear. I am excited to have my own clinics now and be an extra pair of helping hands for our growing Audiology team.

I have 2 sons, 1 dog, 3 cats – and 1 husband, all of whom keep me busy in my spare time.



Our dispensing team

Chris Hobbs FBDO (Manager)
Roger Beckett FBDO (Assistant Manager)
Debbie Heath FBDO CL
Martin Davidson FBDO
Emma Perkis
Joshua Williams
Urszula Sontowska

Nearest car park

Tower Street - Long stay
The Brooks - Short stay
Use the Park Winchester App for live parking information.

Nearest bus stops & routes

Bluestar 1 From Chandler's Ford / Southampton
X66 From Romsey
68 from Salisbury
86 from Basingstoke
25 from Andover
69 from Fareham

Nearest train station

Winchester

Nearest AED/Defibrillator

Savills, Ground Floor, Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8RZ, Monday to Friday 9:00 - 17:30

Disabled access

Good access through the front door and into the ground floor consulting room (Please specify when booking an appointment if a ground floor consulting room is desired)

Map




Out of hours eyecare for customers of the Winchester 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 Friday. The phone number for advice to see if you require an urgent appointment at the hospital  is 02381 206592. For more information click on this link.

Outside of Eye Casualty opening hours call Casualty on 02380 777222, where an eye doctor is on-call for emergencies. Alternatively  you can contact your GP to access their out of hours service or call 111 for further advice.

If you are not sure whether you need emergency attention click this link for further information. Click here for directions to the hospital.

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