Heckmondwike’s Clare wins her pageant crown - and helps others achieve their dream too

Beauty pageant winners - Clare Hurst of Heckmondwike, left, with Stacey Darlington, who she mentored
Beauty pageant winners - Clare Hurst of Heckmondwike, left, with Stacey Darlington, who she mentored

Winning a beauty pageant earlier this year has not only seen a woman increase her own self-confidence, she is now also mentoring others to do the same.

In May Clare Hurst, of Heckmondwike, won the Miss Wigan North West beauty pageant organised and run by Leonie Pemberton, who organises and runs competitions across the north and further afield.

Clare, who is 31, had always wanted to enter a peageant but it was only years ago that she shook off her inhibitions and was delighted when she won the Wigan competition despite travelling from West Yorkshire to the North West.

It meant she represents her title and the Wigan community at a number of events, making 14 appearances so far, with her reign extending until May 2018.

Most recently she travelled to Runcorn to support contestants at the Miss North England regional title where she mentored Stacey Darlington - who won to take her own first title later in the day.

Clare, who has been supported every step of the way by her husband Sean and her family, said: “I always had confidence problems and people were saying I would never do it, but I wanted to, and did do it. It’s given me a confidence boost getting on stage in front of people, I have grown in pride and been judged on my personality.

“When I won I had tears in my eyes - I had worked so hard for it and never thought it would happen. It was a dream come true.”

Clare said each competition has different age categories which can each attract 40 to 50 entries. Each is asked questions about themselves, why they want to enter and what their dreams and ambitions are.

Her angagements have included representing the pageants at some charity events and also offering support to contestants at other pageants, which is how she came to offer her help and advice to Stacey.

“I have really enjoyed it, I couldn’t be happier - I am fulfilling my dreams, and travelling all that way to help another person go for their dreams.

“It helps them gain confidence and is a big achievement for me too. Stacey won and I am very proud of her,” said Clare.