Singer Mary Black launches Grandparent of the Year awards at Specsavers in Naas

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Singer Mary Black launches Grandparent of the Year awards at Specsavers in Naas

Mary Black launching the event in Naas

Esteemed Irish folk singer, recording artist and grandmother of two, Mary Black, launched this year’s Grandparent of the Year Award in Naas.

Specsavers Audiologists in Naas, in association with Beaumont Hospital’s Cochlear Department is calling for nominations as they search for Ireland’s most exceptional grandparent. The award celebrates and recognises the extraordinary contribution that grandparents make to the lives of grandchildren and the community.

Audiologist at Specsavers Naas, Carol O’Neill, said: "We are delighted to launch this year’s campaign and to welcome the hugely talented Mary Black on board as our ambassador for 2018. This campaign recognises the many benefits of an ageing population and the special role that grandparents play in Irish families. It is a fantastic opportunity for younger generations to recognise the many ways that grandparents and older people enrich our lives.

"We are encouraging grandchildren throughout Naas to nominate their grandparent to give them the recognition they deserve. Many customers who come through our doors with concerns about their hearing have withdrawn from social situations leaving them feeling isolated and depressed. Many struggle to keep up with conversation and become tired or embarrassed of asking people to repeat themselves."

 Mary Black said: "As a proud grandmother I am thrilled to have been asked to support this year’s Grandparent of the Year Award, one that recognises the value that grandparents have in society and to families in Ireland. I truly cherish the time with my own grandkids, so I was delighted to work with Specsavers on this campaign. I am also delighted to partner with a brand that actively works towards removing any stigma associated with hearing loss. Hearing has played a critical role in my life and career as a musician and I would encourage everyone to get regular checks."

 Specsavers Audiologists across Ireland earlier this year announced a year-long partnership with Beaumont Hospital’s Cochlear Department, the only centre in the Republic of Ireland that offers cochlear implantation to adults and children with profound hearing loss. Since it opened in 1995, over 1,350 people have received cochlear implants – 50% of them children. The clinical outcomes of the procedure are remarkable, giving children access to sound and enabling them to develop and understand speech.

 Peter Walshe, Consultant ENT Surgeon at Beaumont Hospital said: "Grandparents play such a pivotal role in the lives of young people and in the community. We were delighted to work with Specsavers on this family and community-focused campaign. It promotes the consolidation of young and old generations in the community and we are encouraging all grandkids to nominate their grandparent and show their appreciation for all they have done for them over the years."

The winning grandparent will be crowned Specsavers Irish Grandparent of the Year 2018 and receive a trophy, along with a €750 hearing voucher and a weekend away in Ireland. The lucky grandchild who nominated them will also receive their very own iPad. The winner will be picked from four regional finalists, from Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster and will each receive a €215 Specsavers eyecare voucher, a bottle of Champagne and an awards final certificate.

Grandchildren of all ages can nominate their grandparents by filling out an entry form in Specsavers Naas or online at www.specsavers.ie/hearing/ grandparent. The closing date for entries is Friday, 30 November and the four regional finalists will be chosen by a judging panel before Ireland’s Grandparent of the Year is announced in mid-December.