AN optician who has been helping people with their eyecare for 23 years took home the award for Employee of the Year.

When looking at the entrants, the judges were looking for someone who had made an outstanding contribution to the success of the business.

And they chose Lucy Shepherd-Davies, who is a contact lens opticians at Specsavers Hereford.

Amanda Holden from Escape Hair Salon and Martin Lewis from Gordon Bennetts were runners-up.

Lucy collected the award from Debra Orr, head of media sales at the Hereford Times, and she said she was very pleased to win.

She said: "It is a nice reward. Everyone I work with is so lovely - it is such a nice environment to work in - there is good team spirit.

"I thanked the whole of Specsavers for nominating me but gave special thanks to the contact lens department - without them it wouldn't be possible.

"I have got a good relationship with patients."

Lucy began at Specsavers Hereford more than 20 years ago as a part time optical assistant, working Saturdays, while at school.

It was quickly apparent that she had a real passion for optics and a genuine interest in each customer that came into the practice.

Lucy was eager to progress and after joining the team full time she started her training to become a dispensing optician. Upon completion of her course, Lucy then took the next step which was to train as a contact lens optician.

Lucy consistently delivers outstanding service to her customers and always ensures they are confident in their lenses and aftercare, with this it is no surprise that we have a whole host of customers who will see no one else.

Currently Lucy is their resident full time contact lens optician, she works five days a week and sees around 115 patients a week.