North West celebrates the achievements of people living with sight loss at Second EyeCan Awards
The second EyeCan Awards took place on Friday night at Wellington Park in Leyland. The evening celebrated the inspirational achievements of people across the North West living with sight loss.
Nominations were received for 117 people across 10 categories. The breadth of challenges faced by those nominated was as wide as the geographical area they represented – nominations spread from Barrow in the north, to Liverpool in the south; from Southport in the west, to Oldham in the east.
The EyeCan Awards were designed to publically celebrate the achievements of people living with sight loss, when the right support, encouragement and guidance is available. For this, the second awards celebration, the catchment area was increased from Lancashire and Sefton (the area covered by the host organisation, Galloway’s Society for the Blind) to the whole of the North West.
Stuart Clayton, Chief Executive of Galloway’s, commented, “There are an estimated 163,000 people living with sight loss across the North West alone. We hear so often about the devastation that sight loss causes, and rightly so. Being diagnosed with a permanent sight loss condition is a life-changing event. Galloway’s, and other sight loss organisations, exist to support people who receive that news. However, the EyeCan Awards allow us to tell the other end to that story, the part where people use their inner strength, talents and determination to achieve the most amazing things in spite of their impairment. And we love that we are able to celebrate those achievements in public, giving people the recognition they deserve.
Eric Wright, chairman of the event sponsors, The Eric Wright Group, added: “Galloway’s does some outstanding work for people living in the county and we’ve had a strong relationship with the team for many years, with the charity attending our Water Park Lakeland Adventure Centre in Coniston each year with a group of blind and partially sighted people. We’re proud to give something back to this amazing organisation and felt very proud to have honoured some truly inspirational people on the night”
The winners were as follows:
- Business Award, sponsored by Intersys Micronics: Frank Whittle Partnership (Preston);
- Sport Award, sponsored by Suzanne Dennis Optometrists: Derek Pritchard (Bury);
- In Work Award, sponsored by Brown Shipley: Jeanette Binns (Preston);
- Volunteer Award, sponsored by e-tec: Julie Oliver (Wigan);
- Sight Loss Sector Colleague Award, sponsored by the Lancashire Post: Margaret McClure (Kendal);
- Education & Influence Award, sponsored by the James Mercer Group: Lynne Rennison (Chorley);
- Eye Health Professional Award, sponsored by Peter Booth Optician: Maria Pikulski (St Helens);
- Fundraising Award, sponsored by Chorley Building Society: Galloway’s Father Christmases (Preston);
- Young Person Award, sponsored by Care UK: Douglas McCleery (Kendal);
- Inspirational Achievement Award, sponsored by The Eric Wright Group: Mark Rogerson (St Helens).
Guest Speaker for the evening was Kevin Fitzpatrick, Political Correspondent for BBC North West. Kevin entertained the room with stories and anecdotes from his career and in doing so, also highlighted the importance of not letting obstacles, in whatever form, get in the way of striving to achieve your ambitions.
Alison Wright, of the Eric Wright Group, talked about the importance of supporting sight loss charities like Galloway’s, and the work they do in supporting people throughout their sight loss journey. And Mr Eric Wright presented the Inspirational Achievement Award.