Ray of Sunshine

Vision Express - Search for a Star Pupil

It’s all go !

Our Dublin troop weren’t available so I found myself and Dee on a Saturday morning at 6 am with the car pointed in the direction of Belfast!

Our job was to oversee a clever Vision Express initiative at their store in Belfast – basically Vision Express were searching for a “Star Pupil“, a kid with a sense of style, bags of attitude and someone that was a star pupil in school.

We knew it was going to be a long, long day – after our “spin” to Belfast from Cork we had the initiative to oversee from 10am till 5pm.

The brief was to find 60 willing kids (with their parents permission of course) who would pose for pictures with a professional photographer and then answer a few questions. The kids had to be between the ages of 3 and 15.

With the help of a great promotional girl we had to grab up to 60 kids at the shopping centre, get their parents consent and then pass them to the photographer who had to do his best to encourage them to pose for photos wearing either their own glasses or some really cool ones that we had on display. Glasses have changed!

Once they were finished with the photos they had to choose their favourite (tough job!), which was then printed for them to take away. While helping them to choose their photos I had to ask them a few questions to discover their attitude about glasses and to find out some stand out moment from school.

Kids are great …. we had shy ones, bubbly ones and very honest ones!  “What was your proudest moment in school?” I would ask. Let’s put the question a different way “What day in school did you really feel good about yourself?” Some would look at you as they contemplated this question as if I had two heads !!

The day we get our holidays” …. I must admit, good answer!

We did also hear about how proud they were on their first day at school, when they were made class prefect, when they helped a friend who fell in the school yard, when they were awarded the most improved child, when they did well at the sports day ….some great kids, all kids are great – it was fun, but it was tiring.

I was astounded at their attitudes about people who wear glasses – for many they are  now a “cool” fashion accessory and even those who don’t need glasses wanted to wear them. Things have definitely moved on so far from when I was at school!

India - Ray of Sunshine After a few hours of standing in the shopping centre on a warm day my batteries were starting to flag and then I met a very special girl ..

A concerned mother gently grabbed me by the arm and quietly whispered that her kid had a deformed (if I am using the wrong term I apologise) arm and hand that she was very self conscious of.

She suggested that I might have a quiet word with the photographer. I looked over at the girl being photographed and was surprised to see the most animated, confident and bubbly girl effortlessly moving from one great pose to another like an experienced model – surely this wasn’t the self conscious girl?

When I looked again I did notice one arm slightly shorter than the other and a hand that effectively had no fingers – no bother to this girl as she threw her arms in the air for some of her poses. She bounced over to me, I’m guessing she was about 12.

My name is …” – by a country mile she was the brightest and warmest kid I dealt with throughout the whole day. After she had chosen her pictures and answered the questions she helped her younger sisters through the same process.

This kid was incredible, she had the most generous, fun spirit and there was the biggest ray of sunshine just beaming from her with every word and every smile.

Before I knew it I was home.

Special girl.. thank you for the sunshine and making a long day so much shorter

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a PR firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

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