Plymouth’s biggest ever Eyeball (end of year ball) took place on Friday 15th March at the New Continental Hotel, Plymouth. The annual event, which celebrates the achievements of students and staff alike, was attended by 190 people, made up of students, academic staff, support staff and guests.
On arrival, attendees enjoyed live music, a magician, casino tables and a photobooth. A three course meal was then served before the Plymouth OpSoc Awards, sponsored by the Association of Optometrists, the raffle and the committee presentation.
The raffle, which had over £4,000 worth of raffle prizes, raised over £950 for the society’s chosen charity, Fight for Sight. Combined with cake sales and a pub quiz, this takes the total charity fundraising for 2018-2019 to just under £1,200.
The event, officially known as ‘The Specsavers Eyeball 2019’, was organised by Plymouth Optometry Society (OpSoc). The society, which represents approximately 200 students studying optometry at University of Plymouth, organises many professional and social events to support its students through their studies, enhancing their student life.
Plymouth OpSoc President, Luke McRoy-Jones, spoke about the growth of the society and the importance of industry sponsors.
“The society has developed and grown immensely over the past couple of years, in line with the increasing student numbers on the optometry course at University of Plymouth. Working with the rest of the committee, it’s been my pleasure to oversee the organisation of Plymouth’s biggest ever Eyeball. 190 attendees is 40 more than last year’s event and around double from two years ago. However, we couldn’t have done this without our amazing industry sponsors, who we work with closely as a society. It’s obvious that these companies are keen to invest in and support the next generation of optometrists. Myself and our students are very grateful for their support” he said.
The event was sponsored by Specsavers (Platinum Sponsor), Boots Opticians (Gold Sponsor), Vivid Optical, Capitol Student Accommodation managed by Host and Prospect Health. The raffle was sponsored by Keeler, Heine, Coopervision, Louis Stone Optical, OutoftheBox Optics, the Centre for Eyecare Excellence, Topcon, Opticlar, Iconic Opticians Plymouth, Optom Academy and OutsideClinic.
Rachel McClelland, Ophthalmic Director at Specsavers Launceston, attended the event on behalf of the event’s platinum sponsor, Specsavers. She said “Specsavers is delighted to have sponsored the Eyeball 2019 and it was my absolute pleasure to attend. The Eyeball was a fantastic event and a real credit to the organisers.
Social events like these are so important for students as they facilitate an environment within which they can network. The event was attended by academic staff, professional colleagues and industry representatives, enabling the students to make new contacts and develop their professional relationships.
Specsavers is dedicated to providing the highest standard of eyecare and this starts with investment in optometry students and their development. We have supported numerous students through their university placements and through their pre-registration periods. It seems only logical to invest in them, in order that the next generation of optometrists are striving for clinical excellence and patient centred care.”
Katie Berriman, Area Manager for Boots Opticians, the event’s Gold Sponsor was also in attendance and commended the evening.
The event comes just one week before Plymouth hosts ‘Opfest: The Return’ which will see Cardiff OpSoc and Glasgow Caledonian OpSoc travel to Plymouth for an interuniversity sporting weekend.