01366 382118


Downham Market's longest established independent opticians

Claire Parker

Claire qualified as an Optometrist from the University of Manchester in 2001 after initially following a career as a radiographer. She trained and gained a wealth of experience with various multiple and independent opticians, before joining the family business in 2005.

For Claire it really is a family affair, being the third generation of Optometrists within the family, following on from both her mother and father and previously her grandfather. On her father’s retirement in 2011 Claire took over the running of the business exactly 30 years after her father had initially taken it on; firstly as Parker and Leach Opticians, but more recently as Parker Optometrists. She is now the sole owner.

Claire always wanted to work as a caring healthcare professional and to finally be at the helm of the family business is a dream come true. “I get particular pleasure from seeing patients that may have been seen in the past by my father or mother and to be able to provide a continuation of their eye care right up to the present day”.

Claire is married to Matthew and they have a son, Joshua. They enjoy travelling and walking their dog together in their spare time.

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Chris Rawlings 

Chris is a qualified Dispensing Optician with over 40 years experience in the optical business. Born in Kent, trained at Bradford College and worked in Sheffield before moving to Cambridge. Chris then worked as an Area Manager and spectacle frame buyer for an independent group of opticians.

In 1992 he became a partner in his own optical store for 18 years, winning awards for customer service and staff training.

Since selling his store, he has spent the last 5 years as a freelance Dispensing Optician working with independent opticians as a relief manager and business advisor.

Chris has a keen interest in fashionable spectacle frames, bespoke lenses and staff training. When not working, he enjoys gardening, sport, motoring and travelling.


Mervyn Graver

Mervyn, a Downham Market native, has been with Parker Optometrists in one way or another for over 30 years.

He initially trained as a glazing technician making spectacles for Downham Optical and has steadily become an extremely expert technician who is now responsible for the production of all our high quality eyewear. He works closely with our lens suppliers such as Nikon and Essilor, to ensure we have the most up to date, state-of-the-art lenses.

He is also an experienced optical assistant, helping people to choose suitable spectacles and performing adjustments, he qualified as an Optical Clinical Assistant in 2003.

When not producing spectacles, Mervyn is a passionate Norwich City supporter and season ticket holder, but we won’t hold that against him!


Jacqueline Rix

Jackie joined the Parker team 6 years ago, bringing with her a over 10 years of experience within high fashion eyewear.

She has an eye for the latest optical fashion trends and helps select the lines we run in the practice.

Jackie is passionate about customer service and is always striving to increase her optical knowledge, to this end she qualified as as an Optical Dispensing Assistant in 2012.

Out of work, Jackie likes dancing and spending time with her husband Malcolm and their two grandchildren.


Joanne Hewitt

Jo was a patient with Parkers before she joined the team as receptionist in 2009; therefore she knows our practice from both sides of the desk and has trusted us with her eye care long before she had to!

Jo is local to Downham Market and is familiar to a good number of our patients and her friendly manner puts all who come through the door at their ease. There are not many people Jo doesn’t know in the town!

Prior to joining us Jo worked at a local primary school whilst also performing admin duties at a pet supplier, so she is living proof that it is possible to work with children and animals!

When relaxing, Jo enjoys watching motorcycle racing with her husband Graham. She has two grown-up children.


Sheena Woodhouse

Sheena is our newest member of the Parker Optometrists’s team, joining in 2017. Sheena has a keen eye for frame styling and is enthusiastic about excellent customer service, bringing new ideas to the team. She is studying to qualify as an Optical Dispensing Assistant with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.

Sheena enjoys spending time with her husband and three children in her spare time.