Claire Pollard, a 45 year old born and bred Grimsby lady and mum of three, has been shortlisted as a regional finalist thanks to her edgy fashion style in the search for Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2016.
Beating hundreds of applicants in the North East region’s 45 - 59 age category, Claire was invited into the Victoria Street West store to celebrate with the team, take part in a photoshoot and collect her Specsavers vouchers worth £150 and a bottle of champagne.
‘I may be in my mid-forties now but I still absolutely love fashion, changing my look and styling up new frames. They’re a fashion accessory and really help complement my current hair style and outfit choices, plus I have my eye on another pair so the voucher is perfect timing,’ said Claire.
Potential Spectacle Wearer of the Year,
The accolade of a regional finalist comes with the opportunity to potentially be crowned the overall Spectacle Wearer of the Year, win an amazing £10,000 cash prize and enjoy herself on a luxury holiday for two to New York.
Claire, owner of The Chop Shop on Alexander Road, said that her opinion of being a glasses wearer has completely changed over the years and having ‘had’ to wear them as a youngster to help correct a lazy eye, she now absolutely loves wearing them as they help complete her look.
She added: ‘For me glasses were very functional and had a medical purpose to them. I had a lazy eye as a youngster so spent my early years with plasters over my eye, learning different exercises to help correct it and generally feeling a bit miserable about the situation. Glasses were very bog standard back then, there was little choice and certainly nothing remotely fashionable or nice. Now frames are a fashion accessory not just a necessity.’
Wearing with pride
Claire’s views on frames ring true with the organisers of Spectacle Wearer of the Year as the competition aims to celebrate wearing glasses with pride and every entry raises £1 for UK anti-bullying children’s charity Kidscape.
Asked about what made her enter the competition, Claire confirmed: ‘I’ve actually no idea – it was a moment of spontaneity! My husband was working away in Bagdad, I saw the Facebook advert for the competition and I thought, why not? I’ve never entered any competitions before but my life motto is ‘leave the box, try something different and have fun’ so I uploaded a picture and here we are.’
Five age categories
Now in its 21st year, the competition celebrates those who wear glasses across a broad age range: it features five age categories of 16-24; 25-34; 35-44; 45-59 and 60+. Social media fans also get the opportunity to vote for a Facebook favourite too.
PR Co-ordinator Gilly Brighton and Spectacle Wearer of the Year store champion Kimberley Burdass were on hand to welcome Claire into store and hand over her prize during her visit.
Kimberley commented on Claire’s win: ‘We are completely thrilled that one of our customers is a finalist for her age category in the region. Claire is certainly a great ambassador and role model for all glasses wearers – in her age bracket and beyond. Her approach and attitude to wearing glasses completely supports Specsavers’ philosophy that the right frames can really enhance someone’s own sense of style. We will be keeping our fingers crossed that Claire makes it to finals in London and is crowned Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2016.’
If Claire triumphs in her age category, she could meet former pussycat doll, Kimberly Wyatt at the celeb-packed awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on 11 October.