Sight-loss champions to be honoured

Suzanne Taylor and Jeremy Hartley from the Eric Wright Group, with Galloway's senior fund-raiser, Emma Russ

Suzanne Taylor and Jeremy Hartley from the Eric Wright Group, with Galloway's senior fund-raiser, Emma Russ

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The achievements and inspiration of visually impaired people - and those who support them - will be honoured at an awards ceremony in Preston next month.

Galloway’s Society for the Blind, based in Penwortham, has announced the nominees for the first ever EyeCan awards, with one of the categories, the artistic talent award, being sponsored by the Lancashire Evening Post.

“All the categories were really hard to judge and the calibre of nominations we received just reinforced how many inspirational people there are in our community who are either living with sight loss, or going above and beyond to support those living with sight loss.”

Steve Daley, guest speaker and chair of the judging panel

The EyeCan Awards celebrate what visually impaired people living locally can achieve with the right encouragement and opportunities, and those who use their time to support and enable those within the visually impaired community.

Preston’s Steve Daley, captain of the England Visually Impaired Futsal Team, was chair of the judging panel, which also included an Evening Post community reporter.

Steve, who will be the guest speaker at the awards ceremony, said: “All the categories were really hard to judge and the calibre of nominations we received just reinforced how many inspirational people there are in our community who are either living with sight loss, or going above and beyond to support those living with sight loss.”

Winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony, sponsored by The Eric Wright Group, at Preston North End Invincibles Lounge on Friday, November 13.

Eric Wright, chairman of Eric Wright Group, said: “We’re proud to give something back to this amazing organisation and look forward to honouring some inspirational people on the night.”

Categories include young person, volunteer, sports person, charity champion, business, education, community, carer, and an overall most inspirational person award.

Tickets, including a three-course meal, are £30, and can be bought at any Galloway’s centre, including its headquarters in Howick Park Avenue, or by calling 01772 744148.

Stuart Clayton, chief executive of Galloway’s, announced that the shortlist in the inaugural EyeCan Awards is as follows;

Volunteer Award: Don Walmsley, Simon Casey and Brenda and Norman Worthington;

Business Award: St George’s Shopping Centre, Midland Hotel and Water Park Activity Centre;

Charity Champion: Marion Clark, Marjorie and Dougie Gornall and Alan Oldham;

Community Award: Geraldine Bounds, Colin Hughes, and Tony Finn;

Sport Award: Ashley Woodruff, Preston Blind Bowling Club and Blackburn Acoustic Rifle Club;

Carer Award: Harry Booth, Hospital Visiting Volunteers, and Jean Lilley;

Young Person Award: Sarah Bayley, Juan Greggor and Mohammed Salim;

Education Award: Patricia Holding, Julie and David Oliver, Action for Blind People’s Living with Sight Loss Course;

Artistic Talent Award: David Liddell, Geoff MacDonald and Roy Moran;

Most Inspiration Award: Jason Le Masurier, Richard Stevens and Justine Raith.