An optician from a Chorley store has one of her profession’s glittering prizes firmly in her sights.

Gillian Hurst, 37, who works at Boots Opticians in Market Walk shopping centre has been chosen to represent the company in the Optician Awards 2013.

It means she will be proudly carrying the standard for around 300 of her fellow dispensers based at branches nationwide.

The accolade recognises her dedication to the job and the warm rapport she has established with patients both young and old at the Market Walk branch where she has worked for most of the past 15 years.

Gillian, who is married to Keiron and children Faith, eight, and four-year-old Cameron, originally obtained a physiology degree from Newcastle University and at that stage had no thoughts of becoming a dispensing optician.

She explained: “I did some laboratory work while I was still at university and decided it wasn’t for me. I’m a people person and being based in a lab is a bit of a solitary existence.

“I happened to visit my local opticians, where I had been going regularly since I was a child, and they told me they were looking for a dispensing assistant.

“They knew me really well and offered me the job and I haven’t looked back since.”

Gillian joined the staff at Boots in Market Walk 15 years ago and has been there ever since.

She added: “I only found out last week I had been put forward for the award and it was a really pleasant surprise.”

The awards will be held on April 13 at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.