A local optician is backing an NHS support worker who has been announced as a regional finalist for the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year Award 2016.
Cherry Reynolds, 28, who works with adults with learning disabilities at St John’s Supported Living in Rotherham, has fended off intense competition in the region’s 25-34 age category after she uploaded a selfie on Facebook.
To celebrate her success, Cherry was invited in to the Sheffield Specsavers store for a glamorous photoshoot and to collect a bottle of champagne and a £150 Specsavers voucher.
Cherry wore her favourite Moschino cat’s eye frames for the shoot – a bold pair of glasses that not everyone can pull off. ‘I’ve worn glasses since I was about four and my mum used to buy me the huge round ones. I wasn’t so keen on them and I felt really self-conscious at first but, as I got older, I started to appreciate my glasses more and buy more fashionable frames.
‘Now I love having different frames for different occasions and experimenting with my style. At the minute I’ve got two pairs of Moschino frames but I have my eye on a pink pair that I might snap up next!
‘I would never switch to contact lenses; I just like wearing glasses too much. They’re a part of my personal style now.’
Despite being a confident glasses-wearer, Cherry was very surprised to be named as a regional finalist. ‘I saw the competition on Facebook and I noticed it was for a good cause so I uploaded an old selfie to benefit the charity. I couldn’t believe it when I got the call to say I was through to the next stage.’
Cherry, who lives in Brinsworth, loves her job and says she can’t imagine working in any other field: ‘It’s all about supporting people in their day to day life and helping people be the best that they can be. I assist with their general wellbeing and dietary needs and personal care, and we go on days out – it’s a lot of fun.
‘Originally I started working in a care home just because I needed the money, and now I love it. It’s hard work but it’s completely worth it.’
A word from the store director
Specsavers store director Lorna Armitage was pleased to present Cherry with her champagne and voucher: ‘We’re really proud to have a finalist from the area and Cherry is definitely deserving of the title – she looks fantastic in her glasses. We’re all rooting for her in store and really hope she is successful.’
If Cherry succeeds in winning her age category, she’ll be heading down to London to the star-studded award ceremony on 11 October, where she’ll meet former pussycat doll Kimberley Wyatt and enjoy two nights in a luxury hotel.
The overall winner will be announced at the ceremony and will bag a grand prize of £10,000 cash, a holiday for two to New York and £1,000 to spend on new glasses.
The awards aim 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.