I found out I was nominated for the Hull Daily Mail Golden Apple Awards, the Against All Odds category in November last year.
A letter came to my college, it was the first time anything had been posted for me to the college, so straightaway I had the impression that something was wrong, that maybe I had done something and I was in trouble, or worst of all, after only being at the college for just over 2 months, I was going to be expelled.
I asked my Teaching Assistant to read the letter to me, and as soon as she read it and it said that I had been nominated for the Against All Odds category of the Golden Apple Awards, I was both shocked and thrilled.
I later did some research at home and found out that this category of the Golden Apple Awards is awarded to someone who has undergone a difficult challenge during their school life or had done something incredible. I was told that day that the person who had nominated me for the Award was my head of year from my secondary school, and that made me proud.
I had a photographer coming to the college about 2 weeks before the ceremony to take some pictures for an article which would be published at the end of the week in the Hull Daily Mail. At the end of the week, I found out I was nominated along with a pair of twins with Cerebral Palsy and a 16 year old girl who was bullied at school because of having Epilepsy. I told myself that even if I didn't win, it would still be something to be proud of, but I really did want to win.
On the 1st of December 2016, it was the big day for me, I couldn't wait until the night to go to the ceremony, the support I had from everyone around me was amazing.
When my name was called out to say that I was the winner of the Award I was in shock, I least expected to be called up, I didn't think that having to put up with sight loss was as major as my other 2 nominees. This category was a very hard one to judge, I think.
That night proved me wrong, it just showed that with the right attitude you can get anywhere, even somewhere as far as winning a Golden Apple Award because of not letting sight loss be a barrier to daily life.
Everyone was proud of me for winning, and that night I couldn't stop smiling. The next day I was at college and as soon as I walked through the doors into reception, I had at least 5 people all wanting to speak to me and say congratulations for winning.
Even today, I still remember that moment when my name was called out, and I then knew how people at the Oscars might feel. The moment of tension of finding out whether you are a winner or not is a hard one to put up with, but it can be the moment your life changes for the better.
Claire has recently written a blog for Channel 4 entitled 'My 'normal' life with sight loss'. If you would like to read her blog please visit https://aminormal.channel4.com/self-confidence/with-sight-loss