A Wigan girl who started entering pageants after being bullied has been crowned as the national winner in her latest competition.
Chelsea Fletcher, 11, from Pemberton, competed against six other girls to win the England title at Miss Crown and Glory held in Wrexham.
The St John’s Primary School student entered the pageant just five weeks ago and has since raised more than £1,000 for children’s brain cancer charity, Abbey’s Army.
The resilient youngster has overcome a number of hurdles before securing the title, including being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), overcoming eating disorders and suffering from the long-lasting effects of bullying.
Her mum, Sarah Fletcher, has attributed her progress to pageanting, saying that is has helped her daughter to overcome numerous challenges.
“Chelsea has a history of eating disorders and self-harm,” she said. “She has come a long way and pageanting has really helped her.
“She used to get bullied and thought she was fat and ugly. I want to encourage other people who have similar issues, people can do this.”
Since entering the pageant, Chelsea has worked tirelessly to raise money for the charity, taking part in a range of fundraising activities including a sponsored silence.
“She was silent for nine hours,” said Sarah. “As you can imagine that’s hard for a child with ADHD. That was probably the biggest challenge she has done so far.
“She has also done lots of appearances. She absolutely loves it. Making friends is by far her favourite thing about pageanting.”
“Chelsea actually met her best friend through pageanting, who also suffers from ADHD. It’s usually boys who are diagnosed with it so to find someone similar to her is massive.”
Chelsea, who has three siblings, Molly aged two, Lydia aged 17 months and Nathan aged five, will compete for the UK title of the competition in August where she will go up against Miss Wales, Ireland and Scotland.
Both Lydia and Nathan also compete in pageants and Sarah says she would encourage anyone to “go for it” no matter their age, gender or location.