Blackminster Hearing Centre - Background
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Blackminster Hearing Centre
Professional & expert service with fair low prices
Tel: 01386 830100         Email: richard@blackminster.co.uk

Background Information

General information about: Richard Hathway RHAD C.Eng MBCS CITP

Background


I'm married, with four grown up children.
My wife runs a smallholding and we live in a small high-tech eco house in rural Worcestershire.


Professional Qualifications


My qualifications include:
B.Sc (Hons) in Physics from London University : I studied Physics, together with Computer Science and some Business Management.

C.Eng (Chartered Engineer) - computer systems) : After many years in the computer industry I was awarded Chartered Engineer status. This qualification shows that I am highly qualified in digital technology. For example, this allows me to act as an Expert Witness in court cases.

RHAD (Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser) : This qualification shows that I have completed the required training and passed the required exams in order to be legally permitted to supply & fit hearing aids in the UK. You can confirm that this qualification is valid by checking the details held with the Health & Care Professions Council register.


Professional Experience

Many hearing aid dispensers have retrained after a career in another field. I am no exception. I have had a series of interesting "hi tech" jobs during my past life. I summarise a few of them below:

  • Research Scientist : My first job after college was at Hirst Research Centre in London where I worked on the design of telephone exchange systems.
  • Factory Computer Specialist : For several years I worked on the design of very advanced factory floor computer systems, mainly to weigh food products.
  • Banknote Security Specialist : I worked for several years in Germany designing secure technical systems used by major banks to detect banknote forgeries.
  • Security Software Specialist : Much of the work in my career involved high security projects, such as security, defence, encryption and "anti hacking" systems.
  • Telecommunications Specialist : Almost every major computer system needs to "talk to" other computers via cable or radio connections. I eventually ended up being a specialist in this area.


My Career Change

My last job in the computer world was as "Senior Technologist" at the mobile phone manufacturer Sendo.

(The company was later bought by Motorola and then by Google).

This was an exciting senior and well paid role ... but one day I suddenly noticed that I was nearing 50 .. whilst almost everyone else was in their 30s, so I decided to think of a career change.

I also felt that I should look for a new role where I could work more with people rather than working almost exclusively with computers.

After a year or so I suddenly realised that digital hearing aids were very similar to mobile phones in technology terms. I therefore looked into how I could enter the world of digital hearing aids ... and my wife suggested that I consider becoming a Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser.

The retraining was horrifically expensive and I certainly didn't enjoy the exams ... but I passed them with flying colours and completed my post-exam training without any problems.

Several years on, I now have a vibrant digital hearing aid dispensing practice and the world of mobile phones is just a dim memory!

I used to spend half of my life either commuting 32 miles to work or sitting in aeroplanes - but now my commute distance is very short.

The best part of my new career is that I now meet so many nice people ... I feel that have I wasted a big chunk of my life working almost exclusively with computers.

My Style Of Business

I became disillusioned during my training - I couldn't understand why elderly people were being charged so much for digital hearing aids.

I thought about this for a while and decided that I should take a different direction and I would offer good quality digital hearing aids at fair prices.

To offer low prices I need to have low overheads. I therefore don't operate from expensive fancy town centre offices. I operate from a nice office complex at an out-of-town Business Park.

The following points explain how I can charge low prices:

  • My rent and rates are low which saves costs.
  • I live nearby so I don't spend much on petrol.
  • I don't have any permanent staff so you don't end up paying for their salaries.
  • I am fully independent and don't work as part of an impersonal "chain".
  • I don't have a luxurious lifestyle, which means that I don't need to take much out of the business.
  • I don't do "home visits" which saves time and so allows me to spread my overhead costs over more customers, so my prices can be low.

Overall these points mean that I can charge low prices whist still providing an excellent service.

Business Location

I run my hearing aid practice, Blackminster Hearing Centre, from a small rural office complex at Haddonsacre, Offenham, near Blackminster, just outside Evesham.

My office is located about 30 miles south of Birmingham and 12 miles from Stratford on Avon.
The towns of Cheltenham, Gloucester, Hereford, Warwick, Coventry are all relatively close.
The M5, M42 and M42 motorways are all easily reachable.
Birmingham Airport is around one hour away by car.

The key points:

  • You don't need to drive through town to reach my offices.
  • I have first floor access - but the stairs are relatively easy to use.
  • There is free parking right next to my office.
  • An excellent tea shop is fairly close by.

Finally ...

If you have any questions about me or my business, please email me at: richard@blackminster.co.uk


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Blackminster Hearing Centre is a trading name of Augmentics Ltd