Specsavers in Bournemouth had a VIP visit their store in August - a regional finalist in the annual Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.
Step forward Neelam Kumari
30-year-old Bournemouth local, Neelam has been shortlisted to represent the South East of England in the 25-44 age category. The annual awards, now in its 22nd year, celebrates stylish individuals who look fantastic in their glasses and Neelam was chosen from thousands from her age category to go through to the next stage of judging.
£10,000 up for grabs!
The next stage sees Specsavers judge all the finalists from different regions across the UK. One overall winner from an age category then goes forward to be a finalist and be with the chance to win an amazing £10,000 and mingle with lots of celebrities at the star-attended event that takes place in London on 10th October.
Surprised to be shortlisted
Neelam is still recovering from the shock of being told she was a regional finalist. Urged on by her best friend to enter, Neelam really didn't think she would hear anymore so was thrilled to pop into the Specsavers store in Bournemouth to pick up her regional finalist prizes that includes a Specsavers voucher worth £150 and a bottle of champagne.
Accolade is a great confidence booster
Over the last year, Neelam has lost an amazing seven stone in weight and used to hate having her photograph taken. She says: ‘I really lacked confidence before my weight loss and never would have thought of applying to be Spectacle Wearer of the Year if it wasn’t for my best friend.
'The new me allows me to be more adventurous with my wardrobe, so it will be fun to extend this to my eye wear. I will have a great time selecting something different with my £150 voucher.’
During her visit to Specsavers, Neelam met the store director and store supervisor. Store director Robert Barnes says: ‘We are ecstatic to see a local resident win the 25-34 regional finalist accolade and we are keeping everything crossed that she will go on to wave the flag for Bournemouth in the final stage of the competition.’
Neelam is one of thousands of proud glasses wearers from every corner of the UK and Ireland who entered this year’s event by sending in specs selfies. The competition, which has been running for the last 22 years, aims to celebrate wearing glasses with pride and every entry raises £1 for UK anti-bullying children’s charity Kidscape.
To date, more than £400,000 has been raised for the charity.