A WELLINGBOROUGH resident has made it through as a regional finalist in this year’s Spectacle Wearer of the Year (SWOTY) competition which is run by Specsavers, having been selected from thousands of entrants from East Anglia.


Matthew Blades, 24, is in with a chance of winning £10,000 as well as a luxury holiday in the Bahamas, plus a styling consultation by Gok Wan and a personal shopping trip in London after being presented with his regional finalist certificate at the Specsavers store in Wellingborough, located in the Swansgate shopping centre.


The part-time fitness model and procurement worker Matthew feels it is important to change perceptions and show people that glasses can be cool and fashionable. Matthew has worn glasses since he was 11 and feels that now more than ever, specs can be seen as a desirable accessory by many people. With the wide variety of glasses available, people can choose frames that reflect their personality and style.


Matthew says: ‘I really feel that glasses have become a fashionable accessory with some styles such as the larger ‘geek chic’ frames once again becoming iconic. I have even had the opportunity to wear my glasses in some of my fitness modelling shoots which is rarely seen and I’m really proud to break the mould and promote wearing glasses with pride. This competition is another great chance for me to encourage other glasses wearers to embrace the look!’


If triumphant in his category, Matthew will also have the chance to meet Girls Aloud singer and West End star Kimberley Walsh who launched the awards this year.


A winner from each of the four age categories of 16-24; 25-39; 40-59 and 60+ will be selected, plus the Irish winner and a wildcard finalist who will be voted for on Facebook, by the public.


The awards will be held at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on Tuesday 7 October. All age category winners will win a VIP makeover, and one overall winner will take home the ultimate title in specs wearing.


Winner of The Spectacle Wearer of the Year will receive £10,000, plus a week’s holiday for two in the Bahamas courtesy of the Grand Lucayan Beach & Golf Resort as well as a variety of specs to complement every ensemble.


All Wellingborough store information

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