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Teenage charity champ takes beauty award
A TEENAGER who raised more than £3,000 for charity this year has been named Inspirational Young Beauty Queen 2014.
Courtney-Lee Collins, 14, of Hall Road, Aveley, received the accolade on Saturday at the United Kingdom and Ireland Pageant Industry Awards, held near Birmingham.
Mum Wendy, 46, said her daughter was thrilled to have even been nominated for the award – and bowled over when she found out she’d won.
She said: “She’s a very quiet girl, but this has given her a lot of confidence.
“Over the Easter holidays, she went to Basildon Hospital children’s ward and did some photos with the children, who all thought she was Belle from Beauty and the Beast because she was wearing a yellow ball gown, and she won a community award shield at school about three weeks ago.”
The Ockendon Academy pupil has raised almost £3,500 since the beginning of the year for charities such as the Polly Parrot Appeal, the Rainbow Child Foundation, the British Heart Foundation and Arthritis Research.
She achieved this by holding a charity psychic night and shopping and pamper nights, as well as running a Facebook photo competition, in which, for a small fee, entrants can win personalised trophies, sashes, medals and tiaras.
She is now gathering sponsorship for a 10k walk.
Courtney-Lee will go on to compete for the title of Miss UK Dreams Essex, which places a premium on charity and community work, before representing the county in the finals of Junior Teen Great Britain, at Blackpool, in August.