We were pleased to contribute to Penarth News Nub project, providing answers regarding how we have adapted during the lockdown, the role we’ve played for the NHS and how Osmond Drake remains an integral part of Penarth’s community.

1. How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business?

We have been forced to cease all non-essential care and furlough our team. As lockdown measures have eased, we’ve been delighted to welcome back our team, ensuring their and our patients’ safety is paramount.

2. What have you been up to during the lockdown period (during shop closures or reduced business)?

We were “saved” by the NHS! We are one of 4 practices in Cardiff & Vale who have a specialist optometrist allowing us to take over the role of “Eye Casualty”. This has been a wonderful opportunity for Optometrists to diagnose and treat eye conditions in the community that would normally be sent to hospital.

3. What positive things have come out of this unprecedented time? Is there anything you will continue to do post coronavirus?

We really hope the scheme above continues once things have settled down. We have had wonderful support from the doctors at the hospital and the patients love it. We have also been able to spend more time with our sons at home, which has been a bonus.

4. What do you have on offer as a business at this moment in time?

Apart from the above- Ali and I have been continuing to supply our contact lens patients and carry out spectacle repairs and other essential eye-care. We complete tours of Penarth and surrounding areas a few times a week delivering to our lovely patients. We have enjoyed waving to them all.

5. How has the community of Penarth supported you through these difficult times?

The community have pulled together. We have had lots of supportive and encouraging messages (and some Chocolate) from patients – this always helps to keep us going. We had a lovely email last week from Ysgol yr Deri offering us visors. They were delivered on Friday and will really help keep our team safe when they are able to return to work. We have also found the information shared on the Penarth Traders Facebook page useful.

6.What are your hopes and plans as we move forward and out of these tight restrictions?

We are quite anxious about re-opening our doors and welcoming our team back. We have done lots of research and planning and can’t wait to see them but we don’t know when this will be and we don’t know how well our plans will work until we try. We hope that we are back to the new normal as soon as possible.

7. Environmental awareness and progress have been an integral part of discussion revolving around the ‘new normal’. What steps will you be taking with your business regarding the environment?

In many ways we are pretty green already. We walk to work and re-cycle as much as we can. I am concerned about the impact of PPE on landfill but you can only fight one battle at a time. I would love to persuade our suppliers to reduce the packaging they send us.

8. ‘Shopping Local’ is obviously an integral part of the Penarth High Street scene. What are you hopes coming out of the pandemic in this respect?

I hope that the local community, traders and shoppers, continue to work together in the future to keep Penarth as the best place to live and shop (in the universe!)

9. Name one thing from the lockdown experience do you think we should all keep hold of, as we move on to the next stage?

Be kind and thoughtful to each other.