Mandy Barnes BSc (Hons) MCOptom

Mandy studied as an optometrist at Cardiff University, graduating in 1987. She then moved here to Arbuthnots to complete her pre registration year with Ted as her supervisor. She worked at a variety of practices in South Wales before moving to Oxford where she became area manager for a multiple opticians as well as a pre registration supervisor. Having enjoyed her time at Arbuthnots she returned to work here in 2002 and is now one of the three partner owners of the practice.

Mandy retired from testing in 2020 but still remains actively involved in the running of the practice.


James Davies BSc (Hons) MCOptom PGCert Med Ret

Brought up in Penarth, James spent years playing rugby for local sides Penarth and Old Penarthians as well as football for Cogan. He graduated from Cardiff University in 1999 and embarked on his optometric career working at large multiple opticians becoming senior optometrist at one of the largest South Wales practices.

In 2004, deciding he would prefer the personal approach that an independent optician can offer he joined Arbuthnots and is now a partner in the practice. He enjoys all aspects of optometry and is particularly interested in the early detection of eye disease with latest techniques such as optical coherence tomography.

Away from Arbuthnots James is a member of the Local Optical Committee, and a council member of Optometry Wales which shapes the future of optometry in Wales. He has been a pre-registration supervisor as well as a supervisor at the university student clinics. He has also worked within local hospital eye department glaucoma clinics. He recently returned to academic study at Cardiff University completing the Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Retina. This further qualification provides extra, more specialised knowledge in diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the macular such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and retinal vascular disorders.

Away from eyes James loves watching rugby, cooking, red wine and a Asian food.


Sharron Hopkins FBDO CL

Sharron moved to Barry from Shropshire to join the practice as a trainee dispensing optician in the early 1980s. Now a partner in the practice she has a major influence on the day to day running and its development and expansion over the years.

Sharron is the main frame buyer and has built up a great relationship with the reps of all high quality frame manufacturers so they seek us out to stock their latest frame ranges. She also makes regular trips to Milan to source new cutting edge ranges.

Sharron’s relaxed, friendly style means she has a loyal list of clients who value her expert fashion advice! As a dispensing optician with a specialist qualification in contact lenses, and a contact lens wearer herself, she enjoys trying to encourage children into contact lenses.

Sharron has played many sports over the years, mainly squash and golf and always enjoys keeping fit.



 Helen Davies  BSc (Hons) MCOptom

Originally from Cardiff, Helen studied optometry at Cardiff University and graduated in 2019 with a First Class Honours. After completing her degree, Helen worked in the University Eye Clinic for her pre-registration year. Whilst working in the professional clinic, she gained a wide range of experience including low vision and special assessment. During her time at the University Eye Clinic, Helen had the opportunity to support and teach Optometry students.

Preferring to work in an independent practice, which offers the personal approach as well as maintaining very high clinical standards, Helen joined Arbuthnot Opticians in December 2020. Helen is now keen to undertake postgraduate training to gain specialised knowledge and further qualifications.

Helen enjoys swimming, yoga, and dance as well as going for coastal walks.


Our dispensing team

Katherine is a qualified dispensing optician with extensive experience in both small independent opticians and large multiple chain practices. She’s great at finding your individual visual requirements and suggesting the most suitable lens and frame options. In January 2020 Katherine achieved her accreditation in Low Vision, and now carries out Low Vision assessments for patients across both of our practices.

Sali is a fully qualified dispensing optician with almost 14 years experience in a range of practice settings. She brings with her a wealth of experience of both spectacle dispensing and contact lens practice. Sali also works part time as a tutor for trainee dispensing opticians who are working towards their qualifications.

Nia is a trainee dispensing optician and is currently (and very successfully!) working through the ABDO course to be a fully qualified dispensing optician.

Orsolya is our technician and dispenser, she checks every single pair of glasses that come in and out of the practice! She is multilingual and has experience of working in practices in lots of different countries over the years.

All our dispensing team are great at offering fashion advice as glasses are not just functional! They also all have input into our frame buying so we carry a wide range of styles reflecting each of their preferences.

In December 2018 the practice said goodbye to Rod. After many years’ service Rod decided the time had come to retire. We wish him well in his retirement and thank him for all his hard work.

Our reception team

Lesley, Jan, Clodette, Erin and Sian are our reception team covering both our practices. These are the voices you will hear on the phone or the staff that will greet you when you visit our practices.

They are fantastic at taking care of our admin and keeping the practices running smoothly.

They have a great relationship with our optometrists and dispensing team and will always point you towards the correct member of staff to deal with your query if they can’t help you themselves.