Colours: C C
Text size: A A A

Our Team

Gareth Hardcastle BSc(Hons)MCOptom DipGlauc

Gareth graduated from Cardiff University in 2002 with an honours degree, going on to receive an award from the College of Optometrists for the highest mark achieved in the professional qualifying exams for contact lens clinical skills.

With a passion for Optometry and his work, Gareth has continued to add to his qualifications,  gaining additional qualifications in glaucoma detection and management, and completing the Moorefield’s Eye Hospital advanced contact lens practice course. He is currently undertaking studies to gain additional prescribing rights.

He considers himself fortunate for the last ten years to be given the opportunity to work in both Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital under Corneal Consultant Ophthalmologist Mr E Craig, and Paediatric Ophthalmologist Mr P Haigh, and feels that the clinical skills gained from being in the hospital setting enhance his work in the community.

Gareth sits on the Shropshire Local Optical Committee and is a Director for the not for profit,  Staffordshire and Shropshire Primary Eyecare Company (SASPEC). His role is to help Independent Optometry practices to deliver enhanced services across both counties.

Gareth enjoys running and adventure racing and tries to fit this around a busy family life with three children. In February 2019 Gareth finished second in the Yukon Arctic Ultra - a non stop 300 mile foot race through the Yukon with temperatures reaching -38 degrees Celsius.

However, his wife Jenny keeps his feet firmly on the ground by always referring to this event as "just a long walk in the snow!" 

Jenny Hardcastle BSc(Hons)MCOptom DipGlauc

Jenny moved over from Ireland to study Optometry in Cardiff University gaining a first class honours degree.

Jenny began her career in a combined role, working in the teaching clinics at Cardiff University and Barnstable Hospital.

Her time in the hospital setting gave her experience of the multiple disciplines that hospital Optometry requires. Undertaking work in glaucoma clinics, dry eye clinics, low vision, diabetic, paediatric and emergency eye care, arming her with clinical skills that she applies in her everyday practice.

Jenny has combined her passion for travel with her work and has worked in New Zealand, and Honduras.
In 2006 Jenny and her husband took over the running of Shrewsbury Optometry, combining work in the practice, with roles in both Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Her main area of specialty is paediatric eye care, and her work in the hospital setting includes the fitting of specialist contact lenses to young children having undergone surgery to their eyes. Not only does this fulfill a desire to challenge herself clinically, but in the more human role of supporting parents.

Jenny has a busy family life with three young children, and being the youngest of six has a large extended family which she enjoys spending time with. On the rare occasions she does get time to herself she enjoys creative works, and keeping fit.

Paul Cottrell BSc(Hons)MCOptom ProfCertGlauc ProfCertMedRed HigherCertLV

Paul graduated from Birmingham University in 2007 with an honours degree and now undertakes clinics at Birmingham Eye Hospital and here at Shrewsbury Optometry.

Paul is chair of our local optical society and advises the Betsi Cadwaladr University (UHB) and Powys Teaching Health Board (THB), on various aspects of services in Optometry, on which he has a vast knowledge.

In his leisure time, Paul is a gifted musician and plays in a band. For anyone who has taken a trip on the North Wales narrow-gauge steam railway, you may have seen a black faced character shoveling coal into the burner, that would be Paul!

Danielle Whittingham Bsc(Hons)MCOptom

Danille graduated from Manchester University in 2007 and joined the practice in 2014.

It would be fair to say that Danielle has Optometry in the blood, with both her Father and Grandfather as Optometrists.

Danielle's father actually worked for Shrewsbury Optometry back in the day, bringing a nice family connection to the practice. 

Danielle has a passion for Optometry and this shows in her clinical skills and professional interests.

Away from work, Danielle enjoys spending time with her family and is a keen cyclist, cycling to work in all weather! 

Lucy Bell Practice Manager / Lens Consultant

Lucy has been a breath of fresh air for the entire team since she took on the role of practice manager. Her enthusiasm for the role, and the joy she brings to work every day is infectious. We've yet to find a situation that she can't handle with ease, and the behind the scenes day to day management of the practice runs like clockwork with lots of humour as well as hard work!

Elizabeth Siddall Qualified Lens consultant

Elizabeth has been involved in the world of Optics since the age of sixteen and has over 30 years of experience.
What she doesn't know about lenses can be written on the back of a postage stamp!

As well as her unrivalled knowledge of lens technology, Elizabeth is solely responsible for every frame we currently stock, and hand picks these from the various ranges manufacturers provide. In this way, Elizabeth has an absolute understanding on both frame design and materials, enabling the best frame selection for the client needs.

Elizabeth is married with two children, and enjoys spending time with the family and can often be found camping in the forest of dean during the summer months!

Wendy Ellis Lens Consultant

Wendy like Elizabeth, brings a wealth of experience in Optics to the team. We were fortunate in persuading Wendy to join our team in 2017 having come highly recommended by our Optometrist Danielle Whittingham who had previously worked with Wendy in another practice. 

Suffice to say, Wendy has been an incredible attribute to our team, and we can now proudly boast a combined experience of over 50 years worth of optical experience in our Optical dispensing staff.

Sue Foden Front of House Manager

Sue has been with the practice many years, and is responsible for all the management of front of house staff, ensuring the smooth running of the reception desk.

She is completely unflappable and has an ability to multi task like no other!

Sue enjoys watching horse racing, hill walking, attending classic car events & is an avid cricket watcher. She also enjoys spending time with her family.

Deborah Whitfield Accounts Manager

Deborah is the most vocal member of the team, and is rarely seen without a smile on her face!

She is responsible for all the financial aspects of the NHS service the practice provides as well as the practice accounts.

Deborah is married with two children and enjoys spending time with the family, cooking family meals and holidays in the sun!

Sue Dooley Receptionist

Sue Dooley (another Sue) joined the practice in 2015.

She enjoys reading, walking and spending time with her family.

Su Taylor Receptionist

Su Taylor is our most recent member of the team and enjoys reading and travelling. 


I was diagnosed as having a corneal disease called kerataconus some five years ago. In that time I tried a number of different opticians who didn't seem to understand my condition, and I ended up with spectacles that simply didn't give me the vision I needed.

It wasn't until I got referred to Gareth Hardcastle by my consultant Ophthalmologist that I found someone who finally understood my eye condition.

Now some five years later, I am happily wearing specialist contact lenses which give me fantastic vision from morning to night.

Simon C

Our daughter Erin has Down's syndrome, and has a number of healthy issues including problems with her visual development.

I first came to hear about Shrewsbury Optometry though the hospital eye service, and was recommended to them, having had trouble finding spectaclesthat fit properly.

We saw Elizabeth who took her time to find the right frame for Erin with a specially adapted bridge that meant she no longer peered over the top of her glasses all the time.

We noticed an almost immediate difference in Erin's behaviour, and she began to take interest in objects around her, that we realised she simply wasn't seeing with standard spectacle frames.

We can't thank you enough for the time and care you took for our beautiful daughter.

On our Children's Glasses

I hate eye tests, but staff here made me feel so at ease from the moment I walked through the door. I left knowing I made the right choice for change. Thank you.

Carole Markham

Having previously tried varifocals and not got on with them I was extremely reluctant to try them again, but was becoming increasingly frustrated at constantly swapping between different pairs of spectacles.

Perhaps somewhat naively, I thought all varifocals were the same.

It wasn't until I had an eye examination at Shrewsbury Optometry that I actually had it explained to me that there was a type of varifocal that could give me the extra reading and computer distance focus that I needed.

I was impressed with the digital lens measuring, and the bespoke lens service that I was provided with.

I now happily wear my varifocals for all my day to day office work, and gone are the days of swapping spectacles.

On our Lenses

I hadn't been to see an Optician in about 10 years. I went today and was pleasantly surprised. I was welcomed the moment I walked through the door. All the staff were very helpful and friendly. Mrs Hardcastle was brilliant and explained everything in detail. Nice to know I can still be a fighter pilot! Would recommend this Optometry to anyone.Thank you everyone.

Lorraine Pryce

Wonderful service from very nice people who genuinely care! Nothing like the high street chains at all! Attention to detail and customer care second to none. I can honestly say I have never had a better eye test! I can honestly say I have never had such wonderful help in choosing glasses and lenses! I will never go back to the high street multiples. I discovered today that the glasses I'd had from a now obsolete high street chain about three years ago were far too strong! I hardly wore them at all because they made me feel sick! Now I know why! If you need an eye test and new glasses go to these people! Danielle on the eye tests and Jess on the glasses choice and fitting - both of them are just wonderful in my opinion!

Jeremy Higgins

Having been to several different opticians over the years I became disillusioned with the quality of service and care I received. I never seemed to see the same optician twice, and always felt like their main priority was to sell me a pair of glasses.

My first examination at Shrewsbury Optometry was like a breath of fresh air. I immediately felt like I was in the hands of a professional team, and the level of examination I received was far beyond anything I had received before.

In the ten years since that first examination I have always seen Jenny Hardcastle, and I never ceased to be amazed at the new equipment used during the examinations, which seems to get more sophisticated every year.

Mrs Catrina B

I wouldn't go anywhere else for my optical appointments!

My sight is too important to not use the best!

The staff are all very supportive and will ALWAYS go the extra mile to ensure that you are totally happy with your prescription and frames. When there has been a problem, they rectify it as fast as they are able. I have never been disappointed with the service I have received!

Thank you!

Graham Farmer