The Miss Dorset 2018 finalists were announced during a celebration at 1812 Lounge Bar and Restaurant in Bournemouth on 27 February.
Amber Hardy, Danielle Hemming, Julia Smith, Hannah Pollyn, Sophie Hall, Sarah Sheppard, Shania Lockyer and Stephanie Wyatt introduced themselves to cheering crowds as they outlined their ambitions should they win the crown.
The glamorous competition takes place alongside the Love Dorset Festival, designed to champion the county’s 10 fair-trade towns and encourage residents to make ethical decisions for a more sustainable future.
Founder Kelly Levell said, “Love Dorset is a community festival designed to encourage residents and business owners to become more eco-friendly and socially responsible.
“Each of the Miss Dorset contestants will use their influence and platform for purpose to champion these initiatives in the coming months.”
Kelly, who works as a sustainability consultant, is keen to stress that Miss Dorset is a long way from the beauty pageants of old, and that the winner will be an ambitious, ethically-minded young person.
Those vying for the crown will be judged on a series of contest days showcasing their talents in everything from up-cycling to sports as well as proving themselves ethically minded and socially savvy.
The winner of the annual competition, to be announced at a red carpet gala at Bournemouth’s Hilton Hotel on 5 May, will secure a place in the prestigious Miss England final, the official entry point to Miss World.
The newly crowned Miss Dorset will become an ambassador for local Not-for-Profit organisation We Do Ethical Living, inspiring people to be the change, opening regional charity events, award ceremonies and business galas throughout the year.
Samantha Bumford, the reigning Miss Dorset, will be attending the 2018 Miss England semi-finals at Kelham Hall, Nottinghamshire, after winning Miss Social Media title at the Miss England 2017 final.
A dedicated ambassador for We Do Ethical living since winning her title, Samantha has made over 300 appearances and raised hundreds of pounds to support local charities.
She said, “The ethos behind Miss Dorset is brilliant. It’s not just a regular beauty pageant; it’s about who you are as a person and how you can help the community.
“This in turn is about building the profile of Dorset and people knowing what Dorset is about, it’s ethical values and community spirit.”
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