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OSA unites Optics UK at annual event

OSA unites Optics UK at annual event

The E-Health Focus Group; the Green Charter for Sustainability in Optics; advice to remove the headaches of MRHA and regulatory changes, plus unrivalled networking opportunities have led to eight new members joining the Optical Suppliers’ Association in recent weeks, delegates were told at the AGM.

Every aspect of UK optics united at the OSA’s London gathering last week to celebrate the very best of working together to further eyecare in the UK.

OSA Chairman, Andy Hepworth highlighted the new strapline – “Empowering the Profession” –

“It sums up everything that we are about, with every aspect of the supply chain represented by OSA members, and an open forum where we can learn more about the challenges within other aspects of optics, beyond our own sector,” he said.

Praising the unity surrounding 100% Optical – the key national event – and the commitment for next February’s show, he said it was an opportunity for OSA members to reach out directly to ECPs, which OSA is keen to support, particularly with new technology.

Karl Jeebaun, Chair of the E- Health Focus Group, endorsed the significance of new group’s formation –

“There is currently no central repository for data and standards. The NHS is looking to work with us to help to provide the essential pre-requisites for standardisation. We will be looking at every aspect of AI and telemedicine.  This is not something that individual companies can do on their own.”

      Roy Stoner and Andy Hepworth

Taking the chain of office as new Chairman of OSA, Roy Stoner, highlighted the vital work which had been done, behind the scenes, to ensure the emergence of the OSA from the FMO.  Following the sale of Optrafair and the FMO’s London offices, along with the challenges of Covid, there was a commitment for the industry to pull together –

“We enjoy great unity in optics, despite being competitors, as seen by today’s gathering.  There is a strong sense of collective dedication and time given freely.  OSA members have an unrivalled source of knowledge, support and camaraderie,” said Roy.

“During particularly challenging times, committee members have gone far beyond what would be expected, and in recognition I would like to present OSA Honorary Life Membership – which is not given lightly – to three very dedicated people.


“Andy Yorke, Stuart Burn and Andy Hepworth – The breadth of your combined knowledge has been invaluable and your commitment over many years to your fellow suppliers – thanks to you all.

Andy Yorke had been an important contributor to UK optics, particularly within the technology and diagnostic sector; Andy Hepworth, an expert within the lens sector and Stuart Burn, finance – you have all served as chairmen and given so much of your own time and experience for the sector,” said Roy.

Additionally, James Conway, was recognised for his longstanding contribution to the running of the OSA, and particularly recently with the drive for the OSA Green Charter.

Andrew Yorke, who is Managing Director of Topcon UK, was thrilled by the award, and spoke for all the recipients –

“I am really proud to have been granted Honorary Life Membership and to have the acknowledgement of my peers in optics – it means a lot.”

Roy encouraged all delegates to reach out to other businesses which were yet to join The OSA, and to take advantage of the insights and many benefits the organisation provides, along with free meeting rooms at 100% Optical, and 35% discount on all BSI/ISO Standards.

“I look forward to taking the OSA to a new level of engagement in 2023, and we are working hard to ensure that every company which operates in the UK will be onboard,” he added.

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