Personal battle to win Miss Bedfordshire

Megan, centre and the two runners up. Photo by Kev Wise
Megan, centre and the two runners up. Photo by Kev Wise

A beauty therapist from Barton Le Clay was crowned Miss Bedfordshire at the awards ceremony at Luton Rugby Club.

Megan Bayliss, of Longcroft Drive, was overwhelmed with her achievement on Sunday night, having overcome a series of health problems.

When she was eight, she was diagnosed with Myalgic encephalomyelitis chronic fatigue which means every day is a constant battle for her to find the energy to do daily tasks, she was also diagnosed with coeliac disease last summer.

The 20-year-old first entered the competition in 2012 and has been in the top three every year.

She said: “It was incredible, I really had the time of my life, it was a great night and the girls are all lovely.

“I wasn’t in a good place six months ago, I had gone through some very tough experiences and I have just used it to boost myself and pick myself up off the ground and go for it!

“The pageant was a massive thing for me to achieve, it took a lot for me to get through it and I am grateful and so proud of myself.

“No one will ever see is me using my health as an excuse, none of the judges or people at the pageant knew until the very end of the evening after the crowning.

“I strongly believe that you can’t use these things for sympathy votes you, and you will never catch me talking about it in a negative way even though it is.

“I am so grateful and blessed to hold this title and the best part of the night for me was being able to stand on stage for a maximum of ten seconds each time and be able to show and allow the judges to understand who I am deep down, beneath the sparkly dresses and crowns.”

The beauty therapist runs her own business from her home and she hopes to have her own salon with a difference one day.

She said: “I hope that within five years I have my own salon with a non profit organisation on the side of it to be able to teach and mentor teenagers with special needs that are not confident enough to leave school and get their first job.

“I want to give them a safe and happy work experience and qualifications.

“My brother has had autism since a baby and he is now 18 and just continues to inspire me every day with his strength and confidence.”

The other winners on the night were Elaura Maher, 20, of Silsoe, she came 1st runner up and Emily Grace Batchelor, 24, of Leighton Buzzard, came 2nd runner up, Miss Charity and Miss Fitness.

Alisha Di Paolo won Miss Popularity and Beth Jackson, 23, of Wollaston, was crowned social media queen, Stephanie Veronique won Miss Photogenic and Lauren Martin won Miss Congeniality.