Two local women from Northampton have beaten off competition from thousands of other specs wearers to be named as regional semi-finalists in the Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kholchuma Begum, who works as an HR Assistant for the Northampton County Council, and thirty-nine-year-old Jelena Stojkovic, a stay at home mum from Rushden, have both been selected as semi-finalists in their age categories.
Jelena was encouraged to take part in the competition by staff at the store when she went in to collect her prescription sunglasses. With Kidscape a cause close to her heart, she entered in the hope that wearing glasses could be seen as something to be proud of.
‘I have worn specs since I was a teenager and have gained so much confidence wearing glasses,’ said Jelena. ‘Now I love making them an accessory to my style.’
Kholchuma has worn glasses for over ten years and, more recently, has embraced a more 'geeky' style to her specs. She entered the competition on a whim, and was shocked when she received the call to say that she had been shortlisted.
‘I couldn’t believe it, I entered on the off-chance because it was something different!’ said Kholchuma. ‘I wear my specs for eight hours a day at work, so they aren’t just for style.’
During a visit to their local Specsavers on Abington Street, Northampton, they both received a bottle of champagne, a certificate and a £150 voucher and are now in with a chance of winning £10,000 along with a luxury holiday for two to New York and a glasses wardrobe from Specsavers worth £1,000.
Store director Marinos Constantinides commented: ‘We’re delighted that Kholchuma and Jelena have made it through to this stage of the competition – it’s great for us and for Northampton to have not one, but two finalists, and we wish them both luck in hopefully making it through to the final.’
The awards were launched by former Pussycat Doll, Kimberly Wyatt, earlier this year. If they triumph in their individual age categories, Jelena and Kholchuma could meet Kimberly and other stars at the celeb-packed awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue in October.
The competition has five age categories – 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-59 and 60+. All age category winners will win a VIP makeover and a trip to London for the awards evening, with one overall winner taking home the ultimate prize.