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Douglas and Cobane are a family run opticians and you might have seen their store on Spencer Road in the Waterside - the one with a huge pair of specs on the window! They opened 2 years ago in 2014 and strive to meet the needs of their local residents, providing specialist eye care both in their practice and outside of it too. And they are big on thinking local, buying local and encouraging others to do so as well.

So, a bit more about the lovely people who own this independent business. Emma and Damien both opened the practice two years ago and prior to this they both led careers in London. Damien spent 9 years working as a locum optician for various businesses. His wife Emma worked for 16 years as a behaviour analyst in one of the first schools in the UK to open for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and learning disabilities. Bringing their knowledge together they decided to use it to open their own practice on Spencer Road. And the place looks great!

With all the skills and experience that these two have, you are sure to have your eyes looked at properly, professionally and with a very personal service. At Douglas and Cobane, if a customer is physically unable to make it to the practice for an eye test, then home visits can be arranged and provided within 72 hours. They will visit private addresses, residential / nursing homes, hospitals and day care centres too. They realised that most of the equipment needed for an eye test is portable therefore asked themselves why shouldn't they help those who are unable to get to the practice? We think it's a really nice idea. With Emma's experience as a behaviour analyst and working with people who have learning disabilities for a long period of time, she and her husband are able to meet the needs of those who might struggle with an eye test or find the whole experience a bit daunting. Things such as arranging out of hours appointments if necessary, adjusting the environment to suit the persons needs, meeting the staff and viewing the practice prior to the appointment are all ways in which Douglas and Cobane go above and beyond to ensure their clients eye test is as stress-free as possible. We even had a little eye test when we visited the practice and it was very relaxed, but our eye sight was all good, no glasses needed. Which we were a bit gutted about because there were so many nice pairs of frames to choose from...

As well as providing friendly, professional eye exams and the best quality product for customers, Douglas and Cobane are very much about keeping things local as we previously mentioned. Which is what we love to hear! Everything within the practice was made locally and sourced locally, from the furniture and interior to the I.T provider that the business uses. We were told that if a problem arises, they will always look for a local solution to that problem before going anywhere else. And if you want to know more about why supporting local businesses is a must, then Douglas and Cobane have the listed the top 10 reasons to do so on their website, give it a read!

So, if you think it's time to book an eye test we reckon you give Douglas and Cobane a call (028 71 343803) or arrange an appointment on their website. They understand the importance of our eye health and will do all that they can to make your visit as pleasant as possible. A quick eye test to ensure one of the most complex organs in our bodies is doing ok, that's all it takes. If you know someone who has been putting of an eye test or has been talking about getting themselves a new pair of glasses then Douglas & Cobane are selling Christmas gift vouchers from £20.00.

And don't forget if you have an Independent Derry card Douglas and Cobane are offering half price sights tests and 20% off complete pairs of glasses, even more reason to book yourself a little eye test... The Independent Derry cards are available to buy online, from RoCo Hair, Roco Brew Bar, Spaghetti Junction or the City Centre Initiative.


That's all for now.

Independent Derry.


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