Teen Jess is an inspiration to others suffering from anxiety and depression

Miss United Kingdom Rose winner Jessica Ferguson
Miss United Kingdom Rose winner Jessica Ferguson

A teenager who overcame anxiety and depression by competing in beauty pageants has won her first title.

Jess Ferguson, 19, began taking part in pageants last year after seeing an advert and deciding to give it a go.

Just over a year ago I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and was going through a really tough time at college and at home

Jess Ferguson

But little did she know it would help her overcome her anxiety and improve her confidence.

And she has enjoyed a rapid progression from beginner status and has now won her first national title at Miss United Kingdom Rose in Chorley.

Former Cansfield High pupil Jess, from Ashton-in-Makerfield, said: “I’ve been taking part in pageants for just over a year now, I saw an advert on Facebook for a local pageant and thought that it was something new that I could try.

“Just over a year ago I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and was going through a really tough time at college and at home.

“Pageants have really helped me step out of my comfort zone and helped me socialise, so much so I’ve been able to get a job which this time last year I thought I would never of been able to do.

“There were several rounds to compete in which was first an interview with some of the judges so they could get to know a bit more about you as a person, there was an opening dance, party round, UK theme round which was to show how creative you could be and also an evening round to show your elegance.

“This was the first national pageant that I have ever won and I was so honoured to win I didn’t think I would as all the contestants worked so hard and did an amazing job.”

Jess, who works part-time at B&M Bargains, was thrilled to be named as the winner of Miss United Kingdom Rose which was held in Chorley earlier this month.

She said: “For this pageant we had to raise as much money as we could for their chosen charity which was the Rosemere Cancer Foundation to which I was able to raise £105.84.

“It was hard to raise money for the charity but I did so by doing lucky dips, photoshoots for friends as I really enjoy photography I also sold my old dresses that I no longer needed and sold jewellery at numerous pageants that I attended.

“After my year of reign I would love to compete in more pageants I plan on trying to enter Face of North West England which if I was lucky to win would lead onto Face of Europe and of the World which is held in Disneyland.”