Miss England Journey – Charity Fashion Show 2016

So if you’ve been following me on social media you may have seen that this year I have bitten the bullet and entered Miss England 2016. For the last few years I have looked at entering the competition and for one reason or another I haven’t BUT this year it felt right and when I applied in January the cut off age was 25 (I turn 25 in May) and thus this would have been my last year to apply and I would much rather say I have entered and taken part than always wondered what if? (FYI girls, the cut off age has now been extended to 26 which is great!) http://www.missengland.info/

Now that I work freelance I have the flexibility to dedicate time to the competition plus my radio show on Wandsworth Radio has really built my confidence and I felt ready to take part and give it my all! http://www.wandsworthradio.com/

After successfully making it through to both the Miss England semi finals in June, taking place at Kelham Hall in Nottinghamshire and the Miss London semi finals taking place in April I am over the moon, I’m really enjoying the experience especially having something to focus on and work towards now that I have some extra time on my hands.

You may be thinking, ok she’s entering a beauty pageant and how much work can it be to choose a bikini and walk around in it?… but you would be soooo wrong, that is a thing of the past! Beauty pageants now a days have completely moulded to the modern woman focussing on being a role model for the younger generation, displaying a healthy, fit and realistic lifestyle, being a confident speaker and friendly face and of course having a charitable heart.

So I set to work planning my charity events. I’ve always loved fashion and that comes hand in hand with having quite a few clothes in the wardrobe. I love experimenting with unique styles and the latest trends, however many of these fashions don’t hang around for long and so over the last number of years I have collected a LOT of items! In January I turned out my wardrobe with an idea to sell all the stuff at the Pimlico car boot sale like I had done before Christmas with my friend Ashley where we donated the proceeds to War Child and the remainder of clothing to Mary’s living and giving on Fulham Road. However the idea came to me to create more of an event with the clothes in the form of a fashion show. When I was younger I took part in a few local fashion shows for various charity’s including St Luke’s Hospice, Cancer Research UK and Penhaligan’s friends, namely for the Plymouth College of Art and Design along with former Miss England finalist and friend Shelby.I had also organised an end of year fashion show for the hair and beauty students when I was studying at South Thames College in Wandsworth.

As I have just been crowned as ‘Miss Torquay’ to represent my home town in the Miss England semi finals I thought it would be a great opportunity to promote the seaside town that back in 2014 actually hosted the Miss England Grand finals and what better venue to choose than The Riviera International Conference Centre, echoing that of the 2014 final. I decided to host the show over Easter weekend as I knew a lot of my friends would be back from London and could attend.


The room set up in the Riviera Centre


So I set about finding my models and asked a friend’s sister Amy who has done a bit of modelling, my best friend Emily, my cousin Jay and my neighbour Tasha. Between them they recommended 2 other girls Breagha and Beth and there you have it, my 6 model army! The girls were absolutely fantastic, they worked so hard and took the time out of their schedules to attend fittings and dress rehearsals and on the night were so supportive of each other and me, helping each other get changed, doing each other’s make up and generally being positive and encouraging towards one another. This was so great to see as this is the very essence of what Miss Torquay, Miss London, Miss England and Miss World stand for, women empowering women and being supportive of each other and encouraging each other to be the best we can be as well as having confidence in ourselves.


Me and the models


To promote the show I created various posters and leaflets which I asked local shops, businesses and cafes to display, I also contacted the local paper the Herald Express where I was introduced to a lady called Hannah who I now have a great relationship with when it comes to putting anything in the paper or on their website. I also organised a meet and greet 2 weeks before the show at a local cafe where people could come and say hello, have a cup of coffee with me and buy their tickets to the show. http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/Local-girl-attempts-Miss-England-crown/story-28661804-detail/story.html


I was overwhelmed by the amount of support I received from local businesses who offered to donate to the raffle. Everyone has been very generous and I really can’t thank them enough! Including my local post offices who donated some chocolates, Katie at Escape beauty and wellbeing who not only donated a £15 voucher but also did some nail art on the evening, Eclipse Hair who donated a £40 voucher, Sally Allen fashion who donated a £50 voucher, The Corbyn Head Hotel who donated a cream tea for 2, The Weaver’s Tea Rooms in Cockington who donated a high tea for 4, phab wholesale who donated some great hair products and Crispin Associates who donated some amazing In Styler ceramic curling shells as well as a Mischa Barton handbag plus they supplied the video wall for the evening.


Katie doing the nails


Shopping and chatting!


Katie and myself

I also am very grateful to The Salon in Wellswood who not only donated a £20 voucher but also styled my model’s hair for the evening, we went for some gorgeous curls and loose waves, these girls have hair to die for!!

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The show went really well and we sold over 50 tickets which was fantastic! We also sold a lot of raffle tickets which were just £1 a strip and the clothes went down a treat. Nearly everyone left having purchased a least one item and some even left with bags full which was lovely to see and I hope everyone enjoys the clothes as much as I did!

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The fashion show consisted of 4 looks: Casual (think beach wear, playsuits, coverups, maxi dresses), Bottoms and Tops (how to make jeans look more interesting by wearing bright colours or teaming with vibrant tops), Smart Day (lunch anyone? maybe a day at the races or wedding outfits) and finally evening wear (we all like a night on the town don’t we!) My Dad provided an amazing video wall for the show which resided behind the stage and showcased a video put together by local film maker John Tomkins. John also kindly filmed the whole show as well as taking pictures. http://www.emberlense.com/


Models on the catwalk


John and me

Overall I am extremely proud to say we raised a massive £723.50 for the Miss Torquay, Miss London, Miss England and Miss World charity ‘Beauty with a purpose’. Beauty with a purpose was created by Julia Morley in 1972 and raises money for disadvantaged children worldwide including locally, a donation to the Torbay Holiday Helpers Network in the form of the Miracle Maker caravan in Finlake holiday park where families with very ill children and parents can go to relax and take a break. http://www.beautywithapurpose.com/index.php/en/

So once again a massive Thank you to every single person who assisted with putting the show together, all of the raffle donators, my 6 models and of course everyone who bought a ticket!

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There will be a professional video by John Tomkins but in the meantime please do check out my Youtube video which is actually from the global live periscope feed we did on the night 🙂

Happy Easter! Go on then, go and eat your eggs now, thank you for taking the time to read!!


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