Sandra Hayes, a 61 year old woman from Harlow, has been named as a Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year regional finalist for the second year running.

Love your glasses

Sandra has outdone hundreds of applicants from the East of England to become a finalist for the Anglia region’s 60+ age category. She visited the Specsavers store in Harlow on to collect her Specsavers voucher worth £150 and a bottle of champagne, whilst having some photos taken in her favourite specs.

Sandra, who has worn glasses for more than 30 years, began wearing them out of necessity but has since grown to love them. She has noticed how attitudes to wearing glasses have changed over time, and said: ‘You don’t just wear them to see these days – you wear them to be seen. I have a couple of trendy pairs now.’

The Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards aim to celebrate wearing glasses with pride, while raising valuable funds for anti-bullying charity Kidscape, totalling £300,000 to date. As a headmaster’s PA, Sandra has seen more bullying among school-age kids than most: ‘It’s such a shame that there are bullies, but it’s not something that the school tolerate and, of course, I’d like to see less of it. I think it’s wonderful that Specsavers looks after a charity like Kidscape by donating £1 for every entry – it’s a great way of raising funds and awareness.’

Over the moon

Sandra almost didn’t enter the competition but was persuaded to by staff at Specsavers in Harlow, who think she’d make a very worthy winner. ‘I came into the store to collect some prescription sunglasses before I went away on holiday and the staff were very encouraging. I was a semi-finalist last year, which was great fun, so I never thought it would happen again!’, said Sandra.

Sandra cannot believe her luck and shares her excitement: ‘I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s great to be part of a competition that celebrates wearing glasses. I love wearing glasses – they give me confidence.’

Flying the flag for glasses wearers

Neha Patel, store director at Specsavers in Harlow, presented Sandra with her prizes: ‘We are thrilled that Sandra has been named as a finalist for her age category in the region. She is a great example of someone that embraces wearing their glasses and we’re always pleased to see her when she comes in store.’

Sandra offers some final advice to fellow specs wearers: ‘Enjoy wearing your glasses. There is so much choice out there that anyone can look good in glasses – why not have fun wearing them?’

All Harlow store information