The awards have been devised by the UK Vision Strategy and in collaboration with the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) and NB Online (the RNIB's online news and information site for eye health and sight loss professionals). By raising awareness of sight loss conditions and their optimum treatments, it is hoped the aims of the UK Vision Strategy will be promoted and met. We were invited to attend as guests of the RNIB.
After a drinks and canapes reception, the awards began and were hysterically hosted by Chris McCausland, a stand-up comedian who lost his sight from retinitis pigmentosa. He was an absolute hoot and regaled us with his tales and challenges of being a blind husband and father in the modern world. If you get a chance to see him perform live, then take it.
Anyway, back to the awards and their winners, there were five categories as follows;
Campaign of the Year
No Water by Irenie Ekkeshis - see below
Wayfindr by Royal London Society for the Blind (RLSB) - an app to help navigate with smartphone audio
Professional of the Year (Adults)
Simon Labbett, Rehabilitation Officer (Visual Impairment) at Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council and Chair of the Rehabilitation Workers' Professional Network
Professional of the Year (Children and Young People)
Paula Varney, Family Support Officer at Vista based at Leicester Royal Infirmary who helps families cope with a sight loss diagnosis
Team of the Year
Neuro-Ophthalmic Visual Impairment in Children clinic team at Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast Trust, supporting severely sight impaired children who previously were given very little help or information
We were so pleased to see Irenie win, as her 'No Water' campaign resonates with our advice that opticians can offer swimmers who wear lenses - that prescription goggles are the safest option.
Excitement was mounting as The Red Carpet opened at the biggest beauty event of the year, The Beauty Awards 2019 with ASOS.
James and Michelle Sutton from Eye Care Cosmetics were lucky to have not one but TWO cosmetics competing in the final and even luckier to win the New Eye Innovation Award 2019 for their Waterproof Eyeliner.
Now is the time to check if your prescription goggles have survived the winter at the bottom of your swim bag, or if you can still see clearly through the lenses. With summer on its way, you may want to think about changing from clear to tinted or even mirrored lenses.
Well it's a hello to summer sunshine at last. Now's the time to say goodbye to winter holidays on the slopes and pack away your skis and skiing mask. However, if you are anything like us you are already planning your summer holiday.
"As an optometrist with a family history of macular degeneration, I am keen to source the widest range of products for eye health, dry eyes and blepharitis”
James Sutton (MCOptom)
Founder of Butterflies Eyecare