Birmingham beauty contestant raises money for the NHS during coronavirus lockdown
A young Birmingham beauty contestant is raising money for the NHS and highlighting the impact of plastic on the environment as the country continues to be gripped by the coronavirus pandemic.
Isobel Lines, a teenage beauty contestant, is raising money for charity and vows to continue with her community projects during the coronavirus lockdown as she aims to be crowned Miss Birmingham and reach the finals of Miss England 2020 and represent her home city.
The 19-year-old is a full time student at the University of Worcester and currently studying PE and Sports Coaching Science.
Isobel spoke exclusively to I Am Birmingham and explained how she has risen to the recent challenges created by coronavirus and vows to continue her previous charity work and raise awareness about the causes she supports whilst adhering to the new government lockdown guidelines.
Isobel said she wants to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by raising money and awareness.
“I have raised £650 for the NHS and Beauty with a Purpose from virtual events. I’m hoping to raise more money for the NHS.
“The staff are working hard during these difficult and testing times. Their daily sacrifices inspire me to do more.”
Isobel is competing in the Miss Birmingham 2020 beauty contest. Her pageant journey began with Miss England in 2017 when she was aged just 16. Since then she has competed in Miss Black Country and Miss Birmingham. She reached the Miss England Final last year which was held in Newcastle.
Last year, Isobel was placed Top 5 at the Miss Birmingham contest and won the Midlands Publicity Queen award along the way. She is returning for the fourth year with the aim of winning the coveted Miss Birmingham title.
“This will be my final year of competing due to career options and I am super excited and fully intend to make the most of it and to continue to showcase my charity work despite the current lockdown.”
Isobel has also been working with the local community in Worcester where she is raising awareness about plastic pollution.
She explained, “I launched a campaign to encourage the reduction in plastic pollution and to educate local schools and university students within the city of my university.”
The scheme is called Worcester Against Single Use Plastic (WASUP) and it pledges to host one canal cleaning operation per month where students from local schools and university are encouraged to help.
Discussing the project, Isobel said: “The WASUP project looks towards raising awareness about the damage caused by plastic and the impact that it has on the environment when it is not recycled correctly.
“When I did Miss England I came into contact with the charity Midlands International Aid Trust (MIAT) and met Professor Abdul Rashid Gatrad OBE, who is the chief executive of the charity.”
Supporting Isobel was the Lord Mayor of Worcester, Cllr Allah Ditta. Attending the launch of WASUP, he was joined by former Olympian Andrew Train, Professor Gatrad OBE and Mohammed Aslam MBE, who were joined by local schoolchildren.
Isobel also talked about her support for Papyrus, a charity which deals with youth mental health and suicide:
“I chose to support and raise money for Papyrus after losing a friend to suicide in sixth form. The themes of teenage suicide and mental health are close to my heart.
“I am the RAG sports representative at my university, raising awareness for individuals who are suicidal. I will continue to raise awareness of these issues and hope young lives are saved.
“Over the last year, I have also collectively raised over £4,000 for charities including Papyrus, Midlands International Aid Trust, and the Sunshine Fund.”
Isobel is competing at the Midlands heat of Miss England which was originally due to be held at Birmingham’s Resorts World. Heats are currently being held digitally with photo and video rounds.
Angie Beasdley, Director, Miss England, explained how the contest was adapted and modified in light of the coronavirus lockdown:
“The Miss England heats for 2020 were due to start running on the 27th March until the summer and venues had been booked to stage the contest. Many contestants had already started fundraising and preparing for the contest.
“Instead of just pulling the contest we came up with the idea of inviting contestants to submit their Introduction and Catwalk videos to us via the Miss England Contest YouTube channel.”
“With the technology we have now it’s easy to promote the contest on social media. So far, our first winner was crowned by her sister in Leicester in her back garden and we have a cheque to present to the Y Charity ‘Sponsor a House Campaign’ for almost £7,000. This will help the homeless in Leicester.
“The grand final event will include an Ethical Fashion Show with contestants creating outfits from recycled materials and promoting Plastfree Pads, a new plastic-free biodegradable sanitary pad. The Miss England contest is much more than just having a pretty face.”
Isobel said she is determined to carry on her community work and raise awareness and money for the charities that she supports. The pandemic will not hamper her efforts to help others.
“I won’t let the coronavirus pandemic stop my work for charitable organisations.
“Since the official lockdown I have raised funds for the charities I support and I continue my work within the community while observing the government’s coronavirus guidelines.
“I’ve also donated, collected and delivered face shields and masks to Walsall care homes including Acorns.
“The coronavirus will never stop me. I will find new ways to help and support others.”
WATCH: Isobel Lines completes the “Toilet Roll Challenge” for NHS
Isobel Lines will be competing for the Miss Birmingham 2020 title. The date of the final was originally arranged for 30th and 31st July but will now be rearranged due to the coronavirus outbreak.