Locally-born registers and timetable coordinator at Chelmsford College, Natalie Kidd, is in the running to win £10,000 after becoming a regional finalist in Specsavers’ search for Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2017.

The 35-year-old, who now lives in Kelvedon, has won a £150 voucher for brand new glasses, a bottle of champagne and her chance at a place in the finals, which could see her winning the overall Spectacle Wearer of the Year title and the large cash prize.

‘I couldn’t believe I’d been chosen’

Having worn specs since she was nine years old, Natalie has learnt to love them. She said: ‘I started off not being able to see the board at school, so I went for an eye test and ended up wearing glasses.

‘I hated wearing them when I was young as there weren’t many people in my class who had them. As the years went on, the styles got a bit trendier and more fashionable and now as an adult I really enjoy wearing them. It’s kind of my look.

‘I saw the competition on Facebook, and usually they’re so complicated to enter but this one just needed a selfie. I have a few selfies on my phone, so I picked one I liked and sent it in. A few weeks later I heard back and couldn’t believe I’d been chosen as a regional finalist.’

A word for the store director

Store director at Specsavers Chelmsford, Pat Cooper, said: ‘Natalie is a great person to be put forward to win Spectacle Wearer of the Year. She’s fun and friendly, she loves wearing her glasses and she looks great wearing them. We’re proud to have her as our store’s regional finalist to represent the east of England and wish her all the best for the next stage of the competition.’

Natalie is one of thousands of proud glasses wearers from every corner of the UK and Ireland who have entered this year’s Spectacle Wearer of the Year event by sending in specs selfies to their local Specsavers store.

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, nearly £400,000 has been raised for the charity.

Nadine Coyle to attend the celeb-packed awards ceremony

When asked if she has any advice for other people with specs, Natalie said: ‘I’m a fan of statement glasses so I would say be brave with your choice, because there are so many different styles out there. Don’t stick with what you think might suit you – go out there and try something a bit outside the box because you never know, they could look great.’

If Natalie triumphs in her age category of 35-44, she could meet former Girls Aloud star, Nadine Coyle at the celeb-packed awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on 10 October.

All Chelmsford store information