The mayor of Elmbridge helped staff and charity representatives open a new hearing service at Specsavers in Walton on Saturday (January 18).

Councillor Mary Sheldon was met by Specsavers audiology director, Laura Smith, Mital Patel, ophthalmic director, Conor McCarthy and George Street and Watson from the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity for the weekend opening.

The opening centred around the launch of an £80,000 in-store audiology centre, that features "a state-of-the-art test room, equipped with the latest soundproof technology and clinical equipment".

Specsavers said they can now offer complete hearing tests with the new facilities and urged over 50s in particular to visit for a screening.

Annual hearing tests for over 55s are officially recommended and the staff at the store said they hope to make regular hearing tests as common as eye tests.

The first resident to trial the new hearing test was none other than Cllr Sheldon herself.

Specsavers said the mayor "had a 15-minute hearing test, within the sound proof booth, which was a first for her.

"The results of the test, which were recorded on an audiogram, were then discussed, with Smith explaining the chart and making general recommendations for on-going ear care."

Smith added:

"We were thrilled that the Mayor and her Consort were able to attend the launch and officially open the hearcare service.

"The Mayor found the hearing test to be really useful and insightful."

The audiology director went on to welcome the presence of George Street and and his hearing dog aid Watson from the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity.

"Having the support of the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity in-store helped to raise awareness of hearing and the support services that are available to people with hearing loss.

"We were delighted that Watson and George were able to visit us on such an important occasion.

"We are proud to offer our customers a high standard of clinical testing in our newly installed audiology hearcare centre," Smith said.

Patel meanwhile said the staff were "delighted" to launch the new services and said that the Walton store was "dedicated to looking after the local community’s optical health".