We are friendly independent optometrists. Here you can find out about each team member.

Ali Akay


BSc (Hons), MCOptom, DCLP

Ali has been involved with the practice since 1982. He is a highly experienced optometrist and contact lens practitioner with advanced contact lens diploma (DCLP). As well as working at Hitchin, he also works at a number of Hospital Eye Departments including Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge where he specialises in complex contact lens fitting. He is a member of BCLA (British Contact Lens Association), and UK Keratoconus Self Help and Support Association. Outside optics, Ali is a Rotarian and enjoys getting involved in various charity projects. In his spare time he enjoys collecting and restoring old clocks, music, and country walks.

Elanor Turnbull


BSc (Hons), MCOptom

Elanor joined the practice in 2002 and was previously in charge of a practice in Welwyn Garden City. She is married with two teenage sons. Elanor runs the Contact Lens Clinic at Moorfields Eye Hospital at Bedford as well as working at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, and at Hitchin.



BSc (Hons), MCOptom

Sal has recently joined our team here at Shephard and Akay, he has been working in an independent practice for five years. He has a keen interest in contact lenses and has experience in dealing with a wide and varied range. He enjoys community practice and has been apart of shared care schemes in glaucoma and cataract.

Sal’s hobbies are playing tennis and cricket.

Suzi Berg


BSc (Hons), MCOptom
Suzi qualified as an optometrist in 1998, and is a member of British College of Optometrists. She has a particular interest in Ocular Anatomy, Dry Eye, headaches (incl. migraine), and contact lens fitting. She derives great satisfaction in her work and enjoys helping her clients with their eyecare needs. Outside of optics, Suzi’s interests include playing the piano and singing, drawing / painting, and visiting art galleries, theatre trips and good food (eating it, rather than cooking!). She enjoys taking part in charitable events, and has done 4 charity runs in the last 3 years in aid of Cancer Research UK, Rethink Mental Health, and NSPCC. She has two children, Anya, and Coby who keep her very busy when she is not at work!

Lisa Bullock



Lisa joined the practice in 2016 with over 9 years previous experience as a qualified Dispensing Optician.  She had in interest in optics from an early age and started working in optical practices whilst doing her A levels, prior to studying Ophthalmic Dispensing at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. Lisa enjoys dealing with clients with more unusual and challenging needs, and likes combining fashion and style aspects of eyewear with functionality, by making sure frames fit well and are suitable for the clients’ prescription and individual requirements. Lisa heads our team of 4 Optical Assistants, and makes sure her team is up to date with the latest trends and innovations in optics with regular training sessions.

Outside of work, Lisa enjoys spending time with her young family and her pug who keep her very busy. She has a passion for fast cars, and is a regular at Silverstone. 

Laura Sutton-Long


Laura joined our practice in 2016, bringing with her over 18 years of optical experience in a wide variety of practices, from high street multiples to family run independents. Laura prides herself on professionalism and attention to detail, using her extensive knowledge to help patients choose glasses which are not only comfortable, but look good and reflect their personality.

Laura is mum to two young boys, and enjoys swimming, arts and crafts and cooking in her (rare) spare time.

Julie Hopkins


Julie started her career in optics in 1997 as a trainee Optical Assistant. Throughout the years she gained experience to become a senior Optical assistant and then Manager of a busy practice.

In her spare time she enjoy running, walking and reading.