Meet The Team: Nizz Sabir, Optical Lead
29 June 2022
“Optometry became appealing after a visit with my mother to have her routine eye test at a local Optical practice”, and with a hint of irony Nizz adds: “I ended up serving on an LOC with the practitioner years later.”
It was maybe apt that Nizz found the spark that would ignite his future career whilst helping his mother, because he says his parents have always provided a source of inspiration “in terms of showcasing resilience and having achieved a great deal with very little, as immigrants”
Nizz’s parents originated from Kashmir and had 6 children. His ancestral roots are farming, something he says that gives him a “natural affiliation for mother nature”.
Reflecting on his parents’ life he says: “Although I have never been to Kashmir and was born in the UK, I feel blessed to have such heritage” adding “I am very appreciative of the sacrifices my parents made to live here and to build a foundation for us, more so since losing my father in 2011.”
Born in Rotherham in South Yorkshire Nizz studied at the University of Bradford for his undergraduate degree in Optometry. Having experienced work with a variety of practices as a locum optometrist he eventually became a director of an independent practice.
He says “So far, I have enjoyed each day in my working life, and I am still in clinic regularly. I thoroughly enjoy patient interactions, working with my colleagues and influencing on behalf of the public and the profession, to improve eye health and care outcomes”
Nizz joined the LOCSU team in 2013, and in the past he’s worked as Clinical Governance and Performance lead for Primary Eye Care Services.
He’s also a councillor for the AOP, a member of Rotherham and Barnsley Local Optical Committee and chair for the North and North-East Lincolnshire Local Optical Committee.
Away from work he says his young family keep him occupied: “I have a wife and 3 young children and a cat that keep me busy as I should be when having a young family.”
And if he has any time remaining in his packed life it’s taken up with favourite pastimes including cycling, swimming, and the outdoors “I enjoy a pack up and a flask whilst being lost somewhere green”
Perhaps it’s at those times in the outdoors that he reflects on the other great influence in his life, his faith: “My consciousness of a creator and the teachings of great historical characters, especially the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) have been a clear part of helping me find direction in some great moments”
Never was there a more important time to ‘find direction’ than during the recent pandemic.
Nizz says it demonstrated to him the potential of the industry: “I do believe we have, as a profession, galvanised some great relationships and have delivered innovative primary care whilst also supporting secondary care.” And he adds: “The support amongst practitioners, practices and organisations has been impressive and I think we as a profession naturally will learn a lot from this.”
Certainly, Nizz believes he has learnt something from the experience, and it’s rooted in the work he does with LOCs: “The solution is being proactive and meeting these challenges head on by having a diverse range of viewpoints to help sustainable solutions.”
And as for the future he has this advice for those just starting out: “Seek good people who can be great mentors and a good resource of information for you.”