Meet The Team

NICK CROFT

BSc. (Hons), MCOptom, DipTp (IP) – Principal Optometrist and Managing Director

Nick trained in the Eye Department at Newcastle General Hospital, before qualifying as an optometrist in 1990. He then worked for several years at a practice in Gateshead while continuing his hospital work. After this, he moved to the Caribbean and practiced in Trinidad for two years. On returning to the United Kingdom he worked in several independent practices in the North East before opening Croft & Graves Optometrists in 2009. In 2014, following a placement at the Eye Emergency department of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, Nick qualified as an independent prescribing optometrist; an enhanced qualification which allows him to treat anterior eye conditions. Nick has a clinical interest in anterior eye problems, contact lenses, OCT scan interpretation and eye care in children. Nick, who lives in Sandhoe, enjoys cycling, walking the dog and spending time with his young family.

NICOLLE CROFT

Practice & Business Development Manager / Partner

Nicolle lived and worked in Trinidad and Tobago where she met Nick, before moving to the UK in 1998. Her background is in change management and organisational behaviour.
She has worked in large private sector environments – in banking and sales, and within the public sector – working in local government and in the NHS, in the realms of insurance, risk management, patient safety, clinical governance, and training and joined the business in 2012.
In March 2017, Nicolle took up a non-executive directors role with SightCare Group – a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting business growth, development and marketing support for independent Opticians. When not enjoying work, she loves spending time with the family, enjoys cooking and baking, and dog walking Annie – the latest addition to the family, in the amazing Northumberland countryside.

VAL SOULSBY

Senior Optical Assistant / Finance and Administrative Support

Val is one of our most experienced team members, and Senior Optical Assistant. She has worked in optics since 1977, returning part-time after the birth of her children. She has lived in the village of Corbridge in Northumberland for most of her life and is married with three grown up children. Her spare time is now taken up looking after her grandsons, walking her dog, eating out and enjoying weekends away.

DEBORAH WILLIAMS

F.B.D.O. – Dispensing Optician

Deborah qualified as a dispensing optician in 1997. She works part-time within the practice and has extensive specialist knowledge in the field of bespoke and made to measure eyewear. Deborah lives in Hexham with her husband and 2 young sons. In her spare time, she enjoys running and baking!

LIZ STRINGER

F.B.D.O., Dip.O.D. – Dispensing Optician

Liz originally trained as an Orthoptist before qualifying as a Dispensing Optician. She is an examiner for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), an Ophthalmic Public Health Ambassador for the RNIB and more recently, became a volunteer for the Northumberland County Blind Association. Liz who is originally from Lancashire, has been settled in Wark, Northumberland for the last twelve years where she enjoys gardening and walking her dogs.

SUSAN COOK

Optical Assistant / Marketing, Governance and Administrative Support

Susan joined the practice in November 2015. She is new to Optics and is enjoying the challenge. Born in Corbridge, she previously worked at the local health centre before moving away. She is delighted to have returned home once more. She enjoys taking part in Riding Mill Drama Club productions.

JOANNE THOMPSON

Optical Assistant

Joanne is one of our new recruits, having joined the practice in February 2015. After the birth of her son, she has joined the practice as a part time Optical Assistant. Joanne is looking forward to building a new career in optics having spent many years in the hotel industry. Joanne is already taking up the challenge of a new career and has begun training as a Dispensing Assistant.

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