AN independent opticians was given the Employer of the Year award for creating a stimulating and supportive work environment.

BBR Optometry in St Owen Street took home the prize for a commitment to the welfare of its employees, resulting in high staff satisfaction levels and a well-motivated, ambitious and integrated workforce.

School Uniform Shop and Specsavers Hereford were the other finalists in this category.

BBR Optometry is run by three partners, Nick Rumney, Nicholas Black and Suzanne Wadsworth.

Nick and Suzanne picked up the award during the evening from Arpinder Dhillon from Harrison Clark Rickerbys Solicitors.

Nick said: "It is something that, at the end of the day, we don't have a business if we don't have employees."

He said it is crucial to the business to look after their employees and to nurture their progress.

Nick said it was great to see Hereford businesses come together for the awards ceremony.

He added: "We have had an amazing time and we are really proud.

"They have done an amazing job to bring the Shire Hall to life, with the lighting and decor. Tonight the atmosphere has been buzzing."

The directors at BBR Optometry Ltd constantly review and monitor the practice priorities and ensure everyone is kept updated. They use team meetings to involve colleagues in the planning process and to communicate future plans and direction.

Staff commented on the consistency of approach to leadership describing it variously as being approachable, supportive, passionate, inclusive, progressive, friendly and trusted.

There is a high level of motivation among staff and everyone is passionate about what they do.

In July they launched the new Tear Clinic, a means to assess, investigate, diagnose and treat the debilitating condition of dry eye using a unique guided approach and clinical instrumentation only available in four other outlets in the UK.