A Swindon woman has been chosen from thousands of proud glasses wearers as a regional finalist for Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year.
Natalie-Amber Freegard, aged 26, could follow in the footsteps of last year’s Award winner, Love Island hunk Alex Miller, winning £10,000 and the chance to mingle with the stars at the annual Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards.
Glasses wearers across the UK and Republic of Ireland have been showing off their specs style by sharing their selfies online throughout the spring and summer.
Natalie was invited to her local Specsavers store in Swindon to receive a bottle of champagne, a certificate and a £125 glasses voucher plus a free sight test.
She also took the opportunity to try Specsavers’ innovative Framestyler technology to help choose a new pair of specs, ahead of the next round of judging.
'I absolutely love wearing specs,' said Natalie. 'I was delighted to hear that I had made it through as a regional finalist in the Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.
'After struggling for years with my health, last year I was finally diagnosed with Crohn's disease. It's been a long and difficult journey, I had to take a year off work and my lowest point was when I collapsed, and my heart stopped beating. I had to have an operation where 35cm of my small intestine was cut out, which led to my diagnosis.
‘Since then, however, everything seems to have been getting better for me, which is why I was over the moon to hear I had made it to this stage. Not only do I feel so fortunate to have been picked as a regional finalist, I feel lucky to be alive and I'm embracing every minute of it.'
‘It was a pleasure to meet Natalie,’ said Specsavers Swindon store director, Paul Ewah. ‘She had lots of energy and looked great in her specs. We are all crossing our fingers that she can go one step further and make the final.’
Glitz & glam
The awards were launched by Steps star Claire Richards earlier this year. If she triumphs in her age category, Natalie will meet Claire and rub shoulders with many other celebs at the glitzy awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue in October.
There are five age categories – 16-24; 25-34; 35-44; 45-59 and over 60, plus a Facebook favourite voted for by the public. All age category winners will win a VIP makeover, with one overall winner taking home the ultimate accolade in specs wearing.