Gwen Williams, a 41 year old Welsh lady who has recently moved to Cambridge, cannot believe her luck. She has been announced a regional finalist in the search for Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2016.

Gwen has beaten hundreds of applicants in the Anglia region’s 35-44 age category. To mark such a great achievement, Gwen was invited into the Fitzroy Street store on Wednesday 17 August to meet the team and collect her Specsavers vouchers worth £150 and a bottle of champagne. Gwen’s win came at just the right time.

She has been meaning to replace her old frames for a few weeks and was able to redeem her voucher right there on the day. The store’s laboratory turned around two pairs of prescription frames in under 30 minutes and a delighted Gwen was able to wear them for an in-store photo-shoot.

The accolade of a regional finalist comes with the opportunity to potentially be crowned the overall Spectacle Wearer of the Year, win an amazing £10,000 cash prize and enjoy herself on a luxury holiday for two to New York. Gwen says that being told she looks great in her glasses is a prize in itself.

A word from Gwen

She adds: ‘This is such an incredible confidence booster for me. I am not very self-assured about my looks and am quite a shy person, so I cannot tell you how much it meant to receive the call that I was a regional finalist. It took about a week for the news to sink in!’

Gwen recalls her early years when she wore glasses. ‘I remember my mum taking me to the optician and I had a pair of ugly blue NHS frames. The girls had a choice of blue or pink frames and boys, black or brown. Fast forward to today though, and there is an incredible collection of styles available. The days of being that geeky kid who was called ‘four eyes’ are well and truly gone!’

Gwen words resonate strongly with the organisers of Spectacle Wearer of the Year as the competition aims to celebrate wearing glasses with pride and every entry raises £1 for UK anti-bullying children’s charity Kidscape. Now in its 21st year, the competition celebrates those who wear glasses across a broad age range: it features five age categories of 16-24; 25-34; 35-44; 45-59 and 60+. Social media fans also get the opportunity to vote for a Facebook favourite too.

A word from the store director

Store director Henry Churchill was on hand to fit Gwen’s new frames and hand over her prize during her visit.

He comments on her win: ‘We are thrilled that one of our new Fitzroy Street customers is a finalist for her age category in the region. Gwen is a great ambassador to fly the flag for every spec wearing individual in Cambridge and is testament to the fact that a great pair of frames can really enhance one's own sense of style. We will be keeping our fingers crossed that Gwen makes it to finals in London and is crowned Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2016.’

A final word from Gwen

Gwen has the last word on her win: ‘Since moving to Cambridge earlier this year, I have been made to feel really welcome by the community. When I first walked into Specsavers to make an appointment, they were so friendly and to think that a few months later, I am back in the capacity of a regional finalist really tops off a great few months of living here.’

If Gwen triumphs in her age category of 35-44 years, she could meet former pussycat doll, Kimberly Wyatt at the celeb-packed awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on 11 October.

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