WCSM launches Journeyman scheme

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) – which claims to be the oldest optical organisation in the world – has launched a new scheme for early career eye health and sight loss professionals.

The Journeyman scheme is aimed at people of any age who are within their first few years of working in any optical profession, or in the sight loss sector. It aims to give more people the chance to get to know the organisation at an earlier stage, get involved and eventually move up to full membership later.

A free online launch event at 6.30pm on Tuesday 21 September will showcase “the best in the future of eye health” – including Tom Broughton, entrepreneur and founder of Cubitts, and Reena Chopra, optometrist and medal-winning artificial intelligence researcher.

The event is open to all those interested in joining, bursary award winners and recent Freemen of the Company. It is free to attend, and tickets are available via Billetto.

The WCSM has more than 900 members, spanning 35 different professions and 12 countries. Its purpose, which has stayed the same for almost 400 years, is to support better vision for all.

The Spectacle Makers’ Charity gives over £70,000 each year in grants to organisations helping people with vision problems here and abroad and special bursary and ophthalmology awards to support young professionals across the UK starting their careers in eye health.

WCSM Master, Huntly Taylor, a dispensing optician, said he would encourage early years professionals in any optical discipline to give the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers a try: “This scheme makes it easier for people in the first few years of their career to get involved and explore their part in supporting better vision for all.

“In the last two years, half of our new members have been under 40 and our online events have attracted people living and working far away from our home base in London.

“We are looking forward to expanding our reach and welcoming an even more diverse group of people into the Spectacle Makers’ family.”

The Journeyman scheme costs £30, and membership is valid for up to five years.

Learn more about the scheme and how to join on the WCSM website.