SPECSAVERS in Keighley is a finalist in a coveted awards scheme.

The branch has been shortlisted in the Association of Optometrists Awards.

Its recognition ­– in the Health and Wellbeing Initiative of the Year category – is for “ building a culture of transparency, trust and support” among staff.

Particularly highlighted was a mental health ‘toolkit’ initiative created by store director Raj Gill.

It has helped de-stigmatise mental health and created an open-door policy for team members to talk about any problems.

“A lot of time is spent at work and life is too short to be unhappy,” said Mr Gill.

“I’ve found that play fuels creativity, incentivises camaraderie and encourages positive behaviour, so I actively encourage bonding, creative activities and unity between the team.

“I take great pleasure in being surrounded by a happy, smiling workforce, and even if we’re not chosen for the award I’m extremely proud of my staff for doing a great job.”

The Association of Optometrists Awards are given across 15 categories. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on January 26.