A YORK woman has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of her work on breaking down the barriers of sight loss.

Holly Tuke, who has retinopathy of prematurity after being born at 24 weeks, has been shortlisted in the Social Media Influencer of the Year category at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) See Differently Awards 2019.

The 23-year-old from Haxby said: “It means the world to have been shortlisted for an RNIB See Differently Award.

“For me, it shows that my work has had an impact on others who are living with sight loss, which is one of my main aims.”

Holly writes a life blog titled ‘Life of a Blind Girl’. She started the blog in 2015 as both a creative outlet and to share her experiences of living with sight loss.

The blog covers a variety of topics writing about everything from how people can make their blogs and social media channels more accessible, to employment and disability and her favourite pieces of accessible technology.

The youngster is passionate about educating others and believes that education is the way forward to creating a more accessible world.

She said: “I never thought that my passion for raising awareness, tackling the barriers that blind and vision impaired people face and educating others would lead to something like this. I’m blown away to have been shortlisted.”

Holly is also an advocate for making concert venues and ticket websites more accessible. As an avid music fan who regularly attends concerts, she is passionate about improvements in this area, and has co-founded a non-profit blog called ‘Access For Us’.

The outlet aims to raise awareness of accessibility at music venues through allowing people with different disabilities to share their experiences of attending concerts and buying tickets for events.

The Social Media Influencer of the Year Award recognises people who have used social media to break down the barriers faced by blind or partially sighted people and promotes support for a social issue affecting the sight loss community.

The RNIB See Differently Awards aim to shine a spotlight on the excellent work happening every day across the UK to support people with sight loss.

RNIB CEO, Matt Stringer, said: “The awards will celebrate those who dedicate their time, passion and skills to changing the world for blind and partially sighted people.

“Our shortlisted national finalists are all fantastic and we wish them the best of luck.”

The awards recognise individuals and teams across six categories: Campaigner of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Community Contributor of the Year, Social Media Influencer of the Year, Team of the Year and Employer of the Year.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Glaziers Hall, London on November 26.