Debbie-Louise, shares with us life as a National Finalist for Ms Great Britain 2021
I am a 38-year-old English specialist from Kidsgrove. I’ve recently been selected as a National Finalist for Ms Great Britain 2021. The ‘Ms’ category runs alongside ‘Miss Great Britain’ and is aged for women between 28-39. I am sure you are aware, pageants are actively trying to change the ‘beauty’ stigma attached to such competitions, with more of a focus on female empowerment, body confidence, and charity work. I am very much looking forward to the final (September) there are four rounds I’ll be competing in: Swimwear, fashion, evening wear and the interview round. The two chosen charities the finalist will be supporting this year: Cancer Research UK – a cause close to my heart – I lost my left kidney to cancer in 2015. I was lucky I didn’t need further treatment. They found it and whipped it out pretty quickly. The second charity is Alex’s Wish – a lesser known charity that aims to improve the lives of suffers across the UK – young boys with ‘Muscular Duchenne Dystrophy’ a condition which affects 1 in every 3,500 boys. It is 100% fatal and boys are not expected to live past their mid-twenties.
My sponsor is ‘One Sure Insurance’ I am thankful to have a fantastic and local sponsor supporting me!
One of the charities I have personally chosen to support is ‘Girls Out Loud’. This charity offers a heavy focus on reinforcing positive thinking habits, healthy eating, body positivity, improving mental health and raising the aspirations of teenage girls. I have chosen this particular charity as it ties in with my teaching job role (I’m an English specialist at a local High School) and supports the positive change that I seek! The founder of the organisation has recently asked me to become an Ambassador; an offer I accepted without hesitation.
I now host my own live Instagram show ‘The Admired and the Inspired’ with another local gentleman ‘Dave Waterhouse. Our First guest was ‘Craig Spilane’ the founder of ‘Men Unite’ we have received really positive feedback. We aim to interview inspirational people locally and offer support to any causes they support.
I have chosen to embark on several challenges to raise awareness for my chosen charities. My biggest challenge will be completing the ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ in 24hours. I am completing this challenge with my fiancé and a local couple form Kidsgrove, who are heavily into their hiking. We’re currently completing about 15-20 miles per week in preparation, with a lot of hill/mountain walking including in our training. We try and include the ‘Killer-Mile’ in our weekday walks to improve our leg muscles. This will be a particular tough challenge as I shattered my foot during a school trip a few years back, receiving multiple fractures to my left foot (I have extensive metal work supporting the instep of my foot) It gives me a bit of jip during the cold weather and after walks!
I am a local girl, born and bred! I am a mother to two teenage boys and I have an 11-year-old step-son. It’s full-on living with so much testosterone and football talk. Even our dog is a boy!!! I wouldn’t have it any other way though. However, it will be nice to be involved in a pageant where I can talk about ‘girl stuff’ for a change. I have received a lot of support from our community and I’d love to bring the ‘Ms GB’ crown back to our County. I am so proud of my community and the way it pulls together during tough times, like the Covid pandemic for example. It was inspiring to see support from all directions! I was involved in my towns support group, catering for the vulnerable. I am proud to be part of a local organisation committee where we help to raise thousands of pounds in our local community for various charities including ‘North Staffs Mind’ & ‘Teenage Cancer Trust’. I was recently part of a group of ladies, aged between 25-75 who took to the stage, performing a choreographed dance to the Greatest Showman’s hit ‘This is Me’ We raised over £7,000. It was very empowering to be part of something so special!
I am nervous about the final as I’ve never entered a pageant before. I am looking forward to the challenge, getting my hands dirty with more charity work & of course, dress shopping!