Staff at Valli Opticians celebrated the independent’s 15th anniversary with a high school themed conference and awards ceremony on January 25.

An optical timetable was put together for the day, which included an assembly, science and PE lessons, plus playtime all led by headmaster and managing director of the group, Moin Valli.

Speaking about the event, Valli said: ‘It’s really important to us that our staff enjoy what they do and being able to get them all together for a fun and light-hearted event such as this was great. We have over 80 staff working in our 14 practices across the North of England and it was a great opportunity to get them all together and have lots of laughs.

‘It's hard to believe that Rachel and I have been running the business for 15 years. It doesn't seem so long ago that just weeks after our wedding we signed to buy our first three practices in Huddersfield. Fast forward 15 years and the Valli Opticians family has grown alongside our own. We now have 14 practices and three children. We're really grateful to all our staff. We've got a great team and the company wouldn't be what it is today without them. We're very much looking forward to what the next 15 years may bring.’

In the evening, Valli Opticians hosted its annual staff awards ceremony, which had a high school prom theme and was held at the Village Hotel in Tingley.

Winners included dispensing optician and practice manager of L Mitchell Opticians in Hyde, Joanne Johnson, who won the Kamal Aftab Excellence Award.

The award, which recognises consistent delivery of excellent clinical care, is named after an optometrist who died aged 33 after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Other awards on the night included: Practice Growth, which went to Valli Opticians’ Honley store; Outstanding Attitude, which was won by optical assistant Rachel Kinghorn; and Pride in Practice, which was awarded to Aaron and Lyne Opticians in Stockport.

The Outstanding Team Award was won by A J Spurrett Opticians in Blackburn and the Employee of the Year Award went to James Houlihan, performance manager at A H Merton’s Opticians in Birchwood.

Hoya, Dunelm Optical and Alcon sponsored the awards.