It’s a cliché but it really doesn’t seem like more than 5 minutes ago when it was me stood back stage nervously waiting for the results. I cannot believe how fast this year has gone. I was brand new to the world of pageantry and it was my first time entering anything like this competition so I really didn’t know what to expect.
For me, Miss Black Country is all about being a role model and an ambassador within the community. The Black Country is often tarred with a bad reputation and it is part of our role to change that. To put the Black Country on the map – and not for our accent, but for all of the amazing and wonderful people that fill our community and are constantly going above and beyond for others. I am so proud of my heritage and I hope the girl who wins tonight will go on to positively promote the Black Country and do as much as possible to be an ambassador for all the great things about the area.
During the past year I have used my title to work with some amazing charities including Age UK, Variety, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Alzheimer’s Society, Myeloma UK, the Memusi Foundation and of course Beauty with a Purpose. I have raised money for a range of projects including being able to send 10 children in Africa to school for a whole year and combatting loneliness in our older generation. In total I have raised over £10,000 for local charities and causes close to my heart – this is something that I am so proud of and something I am looking to this year’s Miss Black Country to continue.
One of my most memorable events was the day I spent at the Children’s Hospital over Christmas. I worked with some of the West Midlands fire service team to build a grotto in the grounds of the hospital and fill it with donated gifts. We spent the day going around the wards, with a Santa of course, giving out gifts and spending time with the children who were too poorly to come outside to the grotto. It was truly heart breaking to hear some of their stories but to see children in these awful situations still with smiles on their faces really put life into perspective and made me determined to do more.
I have had some amazing opportunities alongside my charity work including walking the Wolves players out on to the pitch as part of the Black Country festival activities, rode in the Black Country Day Parade limozine, I filmed a music video with a well-known comedy group, I have modelled designer bridal wear on stage at the NEC National Wedding Show and featured on the front cover of Wolverhampton Magazine.
I gave Miss England my everything and I couldn’t be more proud of myself for what I achieved. Out of 22,000 applicants I am pleased to say that I came in the top 20. I was shortlisted for a number of awards including the talent round and within the Top 5 for the Miss Charity award which was always the most important to me. I genuinely made friends for life and truly learned so much about myself and what I am capable of achieving.
I am so grateful to the Miss England organisation for the opportunity to represent the Black Country this past year, both locally across the region and also nationally at the Miss England final. So a massive thank you to Angie for everything and all of the team who work so hard behind the scenes.
Thank you to Rachael for being the best boss in the world, a true inspiration herself and most of all for becoming one of my closest friends. Thank you to my friends, family and my boyfriend Tom for all of your constant support, encouragement and for believing in me even when I didn’t. I couldn’t have done any of this without you all.
Thank you to Kiss Me Kate for always making sure I am dressed top to toe in Sparkle and for letting me wear all of your gorgeous dresses.
This has been the best year of my life and this isn't a goodbye - this experience has made me who I am today and so it will always be with me - I wish the next girl every bit of luck and success with her coming year as Miss Black Country - you're going to have such an amazing time.