A DARWEN woman has made it through to the final stages of a national award.

Debbie Reynolds, 34, founder of the School of Sign Language, Blackburn, has been nominated for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs.

Debbie suffers from a hearing impairment and the award is run by Leonard Cheshire Disability and sponsored by easyGroup Chairman Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

The winner chosen by the judges will receive the £50,000 prize at the British Chamber of Commerce Awards at London’s Natural History Museum on November 27.

Debbie said: “I left school without any qualifications after a challenging educational experience.

“I did not want to draw attention to myself and didn’t admit just how bad my learning was until 21 and got my first hearing aid.

“The School of Sign Language breaks down barriers between deaf and hearing communities.”