When I was first introduced to the world of pageants early last year, I was asked what my platform was. That caused me a little confusion and a lot of heart searching. A platform is something you feel strongly about, whether it affects humans or animals, something physical or something mental, something that affects you directly or affects those less able to help themselves. For me, that was a very hard choice. What do I feel passionate about? I’m Chair of the 2nd Hemel Hempstead Scout group, I donate to East Anglia Air Ambulance, I'm an Early Medieval Reenact bringing Anglo Saxon history to the public, I participate in work fundraising events....but when it came to it, I decided to make a choice based on my experience over the previous year.
I selected Mind, the mental health charity.
Entering a Pageant was the culmination of a year that had seen a lot of stress and anxiety; Miss Voluptuous showed I was facing the world with renewed confidence and a new mindset. Proof that support from Mind can really change lives. Over the run up to the Finals I also became involved in supporting Coppafeel, a breast cancer charity aimed at educating and encouraging under 35s regarding regular breast checks. I helped raise awareness by baking cakes and holding raffles, talking about the charities on social media. Enough? There’s never ‘enough' where publicising a platform is concerned!
I loved Miss Voluptuous so much, as soon as 2018 was over I applied for 2019! New Year, New Platform. This year it wasn’t so hard to choose. In the last 12 months I have had 2 friends undergo cancer treatment, I have lost friends to cancer and seen the worry and pain it can cause. For 2019 I am supporting Macmillan Cancer Support. I’ve already participated in fund raising for them and it’s fun! I’ve collected at a theatre and got to meet the comedian Joe Lycett. New Years Day saw me collecting money at my first ever Football match (Stevenage 1: Newport County 0). There’s more to come; it's more than 'shaking a bucket', it's enabling me to talk to people about why I am supporting Macmillan and to also listen to their stories. Even though Macmillan is my platform, I am not blinkered to other charities. January sees me also fund raising for Water Aid with 'Just Water' for January with some of the other Miss Voluptuous Queens and finalists. No fizzy drinks, no squash, no fruit juice, tea or coffee and of course no alcohol, taking dry January to another level! What will 2019 see? More fundraising, more charity support, more opportunities to publicise my platform and therefore more people receiving support when they need it. What’s your platform?