Isobel Lines, the current Miss Black Country who has worked tirelessly for charities during the pandemic, was nominated for the ‘Unsung Hero Award 2020’ at this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.

The 20-year-old from Wednesbury, who is a former Sports Scholarship student studying Sports Science at the University of Worcester, has been busy raising money for several charities during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Wednesbury resident Isobel Lines – the current Miss Black Country – was nominated for the ‘Unsung Hero Award 2020’ at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year which was screened live on BBC One from Media City UK in Salford on Sunday 20 December when Lewis Hamilton won the main award.

“It was such a pleasant surprise and honour to have been nominated,” said Miss Lines.

“It is obviously disappointing not to have been able to attend in person (the annual event is usually held in front of a live audience of 10,000) but I was lucky enough to be part of the virtual audience.”

Isobel Lines
Isobel Lines took part in the virtual event at this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony

She hopes the ‘Unsung Hero’ nomination at this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony will inspire other young people to remain positive, active and hopeful during the pandemic.

Despite the terrible impact of the pandemic across the country, Miss Lines has been very busy with various volunteer activities and working hard to raise money for charities close to her heart.

“I have been utilising both my Miss England and Chairman of the Equestrian Club positions to raise funds and awareness for organisations which have been struggling during the pandemic,” she said.

Miss Lines spoke exclusively to I Am Birmingham about the changes brought about by the pandemic on her daily routine and how she found ways to overcome them.

“2020 has been an incredibly hard time for every single person, we have all suffered in one way this year. But the pandemic has opened doors of opportunities, shown gaps in the market and provided many platforms of opportunities, if you looked for them.

“There has been many who would have cherished the time for family and friends. Whilst others included myself worked on self development and growth. I saw many areas within my community which needed help or lacked the support, so I did my ultimate best to utilise my title of Miss Black Country and help where possible,” she added.

Isobel is determined to carry on with her community and charity work despite the lockdownIsobel Lines
Isobel Lines continued with her community and charity work despite the COVID-19 pandemic

Miss Lines has actively supported several organisations during the pandemic.

“Within the peak of the pandemic, I distributed essential PPE on behalf of the Midlands International Aid Trust to local organisations including Acorns Hospice, Aldridge Nursing Home and YMCA Charity in West Bromwich,” she said.

She also devoted her time and energy to support charities that help women who have suffered abuse and violence during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Police have recorded that crime data have shown an increase in offences reported as domestic abuse during the pandemic.

“I worked with a charity called ‘Elle for Elle’, collecting unused toiletries and donating them to women hostels in Birmingham Centre to support their ‘Dignity After Distress’ campaign,” she said.

Isobel (centre), Professor Abdul Rashid Gatrad OBE (wearing cap) and volunteers clear out plastic and rubbish from a canalIsobel Lines
Isobel Lines (centre) and a team of volunteers clear out plastic and rubbish from a Midlands waterway

She also worked with children to raise awareness about the negative impact of plastic pollution. Miss Lines went out with a team of volunteers and helped to clear out plastic from canals in the Midlands region.

“Plastic pollution has shown a devastating increase as the production of plastic PPE increases. I became the area leader for Worcester WASUP ‘World Against Single Use Plastic’ alongside the Chief Ambassador for the project. As an ambassador, I visited schools within Brownhills to present presentations of the dangers of plastic pollution and how the younger generation have a vital role within Saving our environment,” she said.

Miss Lines, who has a passion for horses and is Chairwoman of the UOW Equestrian Club, is also using her skills and experience to support a charity which provides equine therapy for children with special needs.

“Recently, I have been supporting the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) in Malvern who provide equine therapy for disabled children within school extra-curricular systems. A week ago, I raised over £100 ready for their recommencement of lessons once the Government allows,” she added.

Isobel Lines
Isobel Lines (pictured at an equestrian event) supports a charity which provides equine therapy for disabled children

The horses of the RDA benefit the lives of over 25,000 disabled children and adults. The RDA works alongside local schools to provide riding lessons and equine therapy for pupils with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).

In September, Miss Lines was presented with a Dudley CVS (Council for Voluntary Services) Covid Heroes Awards 2020. This award was given for all the work that Miss Lines has carried out in the local community during the pandemic.

Miss Lines was crowned Miss Black Country earlier this year when the ceremony took place online due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. She is now looking ahead and hoping to compete at the Miss England Final in Birmingham which will be held in April 2021.

The ‘Unsung Hero Award 2020’ was won posthumously by Sergeant Matt Ratana who was nominated by East Grinstead Rugby Club where the 54-year-old was head coach. The Met Police officer was tragically killed on duty in Croydon in September.


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