BLOG:  BCLA looks to the future with new student rep 

New ideas, new methods and new thinking will be on offer with the introduction of the BCLA’s latest council member, tasked with ‘representing the leaders of the future’. 
Luke Allen, a 25-year-old optometrist who qualified two years ago, has been unveiled as the association’s official student representative – serving as the voice of the BCLA student ambassadors. 
The role will see him sit in on all council meetings and discuss new ways of engaging with younger members and students.

Mr Allen, who specialises in contact lenses in his job at Winchester independent Rawlings, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn more about how the BCLA operates and I was hugely flattered to be asked. Hopefully I can make a valuable contribution and potentially bring a fresh insight into the needs of younger people in the industry.
“Being a member of the BCLA has been great for my development and I have seen the difference it can make. Having access to key resources and being able to hear from pioneers in the profession has helped me enormously.

“Hopefully I can bring something new to the role and be the link between council and optometry students across the country. Communication is key, ensuring the messages are delivered in a way that ensures they reach their target quickly and effectively.”
The BCLA provides a range of resources for students, notably the annual Fitting Skills Day which gives delegates the chance to get hands-on experience of fitting contact lenses and improving their confidence.

President Keith Tempany said: “We are passionate about investing in the future and we recognise we can do more to attract those at the start of their careers. By having a dedicated ‘voice’ on council, students and those newly qualified can now play an even greater role in the BCLA than ever before. 
“Having Luke on council will bring something new to the table. We want to be challenged, we want to hear potentially different ways of doing what we do and we want to innovate. Luke will help us with that.”

Find out more about student membership here.