Audiologist goes back to business roots to open second premises in wake of coronavirus crisis

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A hearing centre is taking on a second premises as it attempts to overcome the challenges brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

Ridgways Hearing Care is set to open a second base at Station Buildings, in Endon, on July 1 as part of efforts by the company to protect jobs and implement social distancing.

And for business owner and audiologist Alison Ridgway, the move will mark a return to her business roots.

Alison, who lives in Endon, said: “I left the NHS and began trading in Endon in 1999 from a small office above the chemists in Station Road. We then moved to the station buildings and that’s the same premises as we are now re-opening.

“Back then, my business was called the Endon Hearing Centre, I sold that business to a national chain in 2008 and set up Ridgway Hearing Care, in Newcastle-under Lyme.

“Around three years ago, we found our present home in Marsh Parade. The premises is larger and allowed me to expand and take on more clients, however, we are now entering a new era where we will need even more space to observe social distancing rules.”

Ridgways Hearing Care employs a team of eight staff. It offers a full range of services including ear wax removal, hearing assessments and the sale and fitting of hearing aids.

The team at Ridgways Hearing Care

The premises closed due to the pandemic, and Alison continued to provide advice over the phone, but it re-opened on a limited basis at the start of May to offer services to patients in urgent need of hearing support.

Alison said: “I have worked in audiology for more than 30 years and things have changed as technology has improved. Hearing aids are now hi-tech devices that can be controlled from your phone. They are comfortable to wear and so tiny that they are hardly noticeable. We now have models which will take your temperature and alert a relative if, for example, you have a fall. People are benefitting greatly and we can now solve almost any hearing problem.”

The opening of the new Station Road premises in the summer will mean Alison can retain all of her staff and provide an additional space for customers.

Alison added: “As the country emerges from lockdown we now face the challenge of how to operate successfully within social distancing restrictions.

“As a business owner, I also wanted to give a commitment to my staff who had been furloughed. Taking on the Endon office allows us to do this and also gives us another space in which to see customers.”

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