Charity

Brighton woman is spec-tacular at star studded awards

BRIGHTON resident Sheila Palmer rubbed shoulders with an array of specs-wearing superstars at the Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards this week (Tuesday 10 October) – and took home a prize.

The retired 70-year-old stand-up comedy fan took to the stage to receive her Spectacle Wearer of the Year award in the over 60s category at the glamorous event staged by Specsavers.

The 22nd Spectacle Wearer of the Year awards, hosted by Rylan Clark-Neal at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, was in aid of anti-bullying charity Kidscape. Sheila was selected from thousands of hopefuls to be crowned the over 60s category winner. She received her award from fellow fabulous specs wearer and iconic model Twiggy.

Sheila said: ‘To say that I am “over the moon” is putting it mildly and I feel honoured to be flying the flag for the more mature spectacle wearer. In 1937, Dorothy Parker, a renowned poet and author, declared “Men seldom make passes at girls wearing glasses”. Many women my age grew up with that quote ringing in their ears. Nowadays people frequently make passes at women wearing glasses. How times have changed.’

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Andrew Wallbank, store director in Brighton, said: ‘We are delighted that Sheila has won this award. She is a larger than life character and a terrific ambassador for Specsavers. She shows that it is never too late to wear funky frames – so if you have not had an eye test in a while and fancy changing your look, why not pop in and see us.’

The awards also saw Alex Miller, age 27 from Essex, presented with the overall Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2017 prize.

Celebrities were also rewarded on the night with Steps star Claire Richards winning the Specs Appeal Award, The Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith winning the Services to Specs award – in honour of her decades of proud glasses wearing – and Good Morning Britain’s Richard Arnold taking home Best Newcomer.

Many other specs-wearing stars were seen on the red carpet, including Martin and Roman Kemp; Kem Cetinay and Amber Davies; Chris Hughes and Liv Atwood; Vicky Pattison; Megan McKenna and Pete Wicks; Georgia Kousoulou and Tommy Mallet; Lisa Snowdon; and Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews.

Money raised from awards entries, sponsorship, ticket sales and a luxury raffle was wholly donated to Kidscape, raising £120,000 and bringing the total raised by Specsavers for the charity in the last nine years to more than half a million.

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