MF: Can you sum up in three words what Folkestone means to you?
LB: Community, Opportunity and Ambition
MF: When did you realize that you wanted to be an optometrist?
LB: I grew up in a family of Optometrists. My grandfather became an Optometrist after he finished being a bomber pilot during the war. My mum is a retired Optometrist and my cousin is an Optometrist with his own practice in Canterbury. So I guess you could say it’s in my blood!
MF: We hear that you were one of London 2012's Olympic volunteers providing eye care in the Athletes' Village - how did that come about?
LB: It was a fantastic experience. I volunteered to be a Games Maker in the medical centre in the Athletes' Village. There was a lengthy interview process and training, but it was all good fun! We were able to provide access to top eye care for the Athletes and teams. Many of the Athletes did not have access to eye care in their home countries. It involved long days, but was worth it for the atmosphere alone!
MF: Your work has also taken you to Zambia providing eye care to remote communities, how was that experience for you?
LB. I have been to Zambia a few times with the fantastic charity, Vision Aid Overseas. We are able to provide eye care and spectacles to remote communities, and we also educated nurses and provided them with equipment to carry out eye care in our absence. Zambia is such a fantastic and friendly country, I would love to go back!
MF: Why did you set up shop in Folkestone?
LB. I took over Eye Folk in 2019. I had wanted to have my own practice for years and this opportunity came up! I think Folkestone is a town that is on the up and I saw room for improvement with the practice and in Guildhall Street. I’m all for independent businesses, so I try to use independent companies for myself and the opticians - where possible.
MF: Can you share any simple tips for looking after your eye health in between appointments?
LB. It’s important to have an eye test every two years or more frequently if your Optometrist recommends it. Even if you feel your vision is fine, an eye test looks at the health of your eyes and can also reveal general health issues. Between appointments, you can maintain the health of your eyes by a good diet, no smoking, wearing a good pair of sunglasses and generally maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you have any concerns between appointments, you should always contact your Optometrist. Many people are entitled to free NHS eye care!
With many people working from home currently - I have also shared my top tips on looking after your eyes via our Instagram and Facebook pages!
MF: What other local businesses do you admire in Folkestone?
LB. I admire many of Folkestone’s independent businesses, that are out there working hard, but also find the time to support other local businesses and causes. A great example of this is Chambers.
MF: Where do you like to hang out in Folkestone?
LB. I don’t get much time to go out with a two year old son! But if I could, it would probably be Chambers for some live music and drinks and maybe Shayda’s for dinner!
MF: Which restaurants are you looking forward to visiting the most when life takes on a new normal? (Bouverie Tap of course)
LB. I’m obviously going to say The Bouverie Tap, but that isn’t just because it’s my husband’s business. I genuinely believe it has the right mix of delicious food with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere!
MF: What do you think MyFolkestone brings to the community?
LB. MyFolkestone is fantastic as it allows local businesses to be found all in one place, and also showcases plenty of offers!