Local woman Laura Milnes has been announced as a regional finalist in Specsavers’ annual Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.

The 53-year-old was presented with a bottle of champagne, a certificate and a £150 Specsavers voucher, by Claire Wardingley from Specsavers in Rotherham. Laura, who moved to Rotherham when she was 16 and lives in Maltby, has been chosen as a regional finalist in the 45-59 age category in the North East.

She is now in with a chance of progressing to a star-studded award ceremony, where the overall winner will take home a cash prize of £10,000.

'I got all the usual nicknames'

Laura, who works for the RNN Group on a busy IT helpdesk, has been wearing glasses since she was nine years old, and hated wearing them at first. She says: ‘I had huge glasses with clear frames that made me feel really self-conscious. I would get all the usual nicknames about wearing glasses, it simply wasn’t as cool back then as it is now.

‘My attitude to my glasses now couldn’t be more different. I think of them as jewellery for my face, and there’s a style and a shape to suit everyone these days, especially with all the designer and celebrity ranges. I have two different pairs that I swap between depending on how I’m feeling that day.

‘I did try contact lenses once but they just didn’t suit me as well, so I decided to stick to glasses.’

It's all for a good cause

Laura entered the competition after a colleague mentioned that he had submitted a selfie on Facebook. She looked through the entries and decided to snap a quick picture herself since Specsavers donates £1 to anti-bullying charity Kidscape for every entry.

Rotherham Specsavers is cheering her on

Claire Wardingley from Specsavers in Rotherham says: ‘It was a pleasure to meet Laura and we’re so proud that someone from Rotherham has made it this far in the competition. We really think she could go all the way and take the grand prize as a very deserving winner. We’ll be cheering her on over the next few weeks.’

Laura has some advice for anyone who needs to start wearing glasses but doesn’t feel confident about it: ‘I would say just try on as many pairs as you can and see how you feel. Don’t stop until you find a pair that makes you feel amazing and wear them with confidence.’

Now in its 22nd year, the competition will give regional finalists from five age categories: 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-59 and over 60s, plus a Facebook favourite voted by the public – the opportunity to attend a star-studded awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on 10 October, which will be hosted by former Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle.

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