I won Miss England last year and it was the best thing I’ve ever done

You should too

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Carina Tyrrell, 25, took a year out from her medicine degree at Cambridge to win Miss England. This is her story.

The role of Miss England is extremely diverse and my days are occupied by a variety of events, from travelling to different parts of the world, to sleeping rough on the streets of Cambridge to raise awareness of homelessness.

With my background as a student doctor, I have enjoyed developing my medical interest locally, nationally and internationally, through the Miss England title.

My support of the homeless has continued through raising awareness of homelessness in the national and international press, including through a publication in the United Nations magazine, giving teaching sessions on health issues to the homeless, serving food at shelters, and fundraising.I have enjoyed developing a national charitable endeavour whereby Miss England regional title-holders are encouraged to get their community involved in a designated charitable effort on a monthly basis.

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This month we are supporting the Simple Suppers Campaign to raise funds for homeless shelters by cooking simple meals for friends and donating money otherwise spent on gastronomy to Wintercomfort. Last year, I was delighted to be able to reach further and support homeless children in the UK by donating £50,000, raised by the finalists of the Miss England competition, to the charity Coram.

My interest in national health issues brought me recently to the House of Commons where I attended a discussion on autism — the need for early diagnosis and a change in policy. Both driving change and increasing private and governmental support for particular causes, require the backing of the public. Collaborating with organisations and being an advocate for certain issues have been stimulating. In particular, I have enjoyed supporting the work of Doctors without Borders on Ebola, and advocating about United Nations’ health-related days.

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Credit: Ryan Jarvis

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As a young woman in a science related field, I am interested in promoting women in science and in the work place. Speaking at the Oxford Union, I tried to emphasise the importance of female collaboration and empowerment I have also enjoyed discussing this subject with some of the women at the heart of this issue.

At the National Space Centre in Leicester, I was able to talk to students about the uptake of STEM subjects among women. I also believe that the youth has enormous potential to bring about positive change, and that little of this is harnessed. I greatly support YOPEY, a charity that seeks to reward young unsung heroes for their selfless actions. I am looking forward to the collaborative efforts of the charity and the Miss England Organisation.

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My travels involve supporting the local community through work with charities or other associations, such as nature conservation. I am interested in global health and have used the occasions to visit local health facilities. In Mauritius, my first official trip, I was able to visit and support the George Charles Foundation for children with disabilities, and the nature reserve “La Vallée des Couleurs”, where I was able to plant an ebony tree, which is an endangered species on the island.

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Credit: Fresh Academy

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My interest in ethical and ecological fashion has led me to a variety of events including London Fashion Week and Fare Fashion at Bristol’s Green Week. I have enjoyed working with different designers and photographers, and collaborating with sponsors.

Being Miss England involves meeting new people, collaborating with charities and organisations, and being a spokesperson and public figure. It is work intensive but hugely rewarding.