Minisha Patel from Cheltenham has been picked from thousands of specs wearers across the country as a regional finalist in the 2017 Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.

The 34-year-old, who works for Gloucestershire Country Council as a support planner, entered the competition after seeing it on Facebook and was particularly pleased about the association with anti-bullying charity Kidscape.

Wearing specs with pride

‘I’d kind of forgotten I’d entered so was really shocked when I found out!’ said Minisha. ‘I’ve worn glasses since I was 14 and used to be bullied because of it, so the link with Kidscape really appealed to me. I used to be quite self-conscious about wearing specs but now I embrace it.

'I have different pairs that I wear with different outfits and definitely wear them with pride. That’s my advice to others as well.’

Minisha visited Specsavers Cheltenham where she was presented with a certificate, bottle of champagne and £150 eyewear voucher.

A word from the store director

Terry Weldon, store director at Specsavers Cheltenham, who presented Minisha with her prizes, said: ‘It’s great to have a local regional winner and it was lovely to meet Minisha – she’s a real specs wearing ambassador. We’d like to wish her all the very best in hopefully making it through to the final.’

The competition, launched by former Girls Aloud member Nadine Coyle earlier this year, has five age categories – 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-59 and over 60s – plus a Facebook favourite voted for by the public. An overall national winner from each category will win a VIP makeover and the opportunity to mingle with celebrities at the awards in London in October.

The overall winner from all age categories will win £10,000 cash and £1,000 worth of new glasses.

£1 will be donated to the anti-bullying charity Kidscape for each entry made, with £400,000 raised to date.  The money raised will help to support the charity in providing training, support and advice for children, parents, schools, and those who might be affected by cases of bullying and abuse in the UK.

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