One lucky Ilford resident has been selected out of thousands of entrants to be a regional finalist in this year’s Spectacle Wearer of the Year (SWOTY) competition which is run by Specsavers.

Chance of winning

Suresh Patel of Gants Hill is in with a chance of winning £10,000 as well as a luxury holiday in the Bahamas, plus a styling consultation by Gok Wan and a personal shopping trip in London after entering the national competition after impressing in his favourite spectacles.

Loyal customer

Suresh has been wearing glasses for over 40 years and has been a loyal customer of the Specsavers store in Ilford, located on 92 High Road, for many years. After a little gentle persuasion from his eldest daughter, he entered the competition to try his luck. As is often the case, Ilford’s sole representative did not expect a response. However, he will now be in the running for the grand prize.

Completely confident

Suresh says: ‘I have worn glasses for most of my life and I am completely confident and comfortable in them but I know that this is not the case for all glasses wearers. That’s why I think this competition is very important to promote glasses and the people that have to wear them. For some younger people, wearing glasses can be seen as un-cool but this just isn’t the case. There are even people wearing glasses when they don’t need them! Glasses are very cool and fashionable and I’m proud to be part of a competition that proves this.’

Kimberley Walsh

If triumphant in his category, Suresh will also have the chance to meet Girls Aloud singer and West End star Kimberley Walsh who launched the awards this year.

Four age categories

A winner from each of the four age categories of 16-24; 25-39; 40-59 and 60+ will be selected, plus the Irish winner and a wildcard finalist who will be voted for on Facebook, by the public.


The awards will be held at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on Tuesday 7 October. All age category winners will win a VIP makeover, and one overall winner will take home the ultimate title in specs wearing.


The winner of The Spectacle Wearer of the Year will receive £10,000, plus a week’s holiday for two in the Bahamas courtesy of the Grand Lucayan Beach & Golf Resort as well as a variety of specs to complement every ensemble.

All Ilford store information