Sleeping beauty: Miss Cambridge takes to the streets
Our very own Miss England has been awarded a new epithet after a stint on the city’s streets, that of ‘caring Carina’
As a medic Carina Tyrell is no stranger to the dangers of al fresco living. Nevertheless, this hardy ‘Miss’ braved the cold this week, alongside 40,000 others on World Homeless Day.
You may remember Miss Tyrell of Miss Cambridgeshire and now Miss England fame when we interviewed her back in April. At just 24 years old, Miss Tyrell already has an illustrious career under her belt.
For the past year, she has balanced a degree in medicine with presidency of the Cambridge University Global Health Society and of course the rigorous qualifying rounds of the Miss Cambridgeshire competition.
Now Carina is facing her biggest challenge yet, using her status to combat homelessness.
In an exclusive diary about her night, Carina writes: “Initially, I would have described someone who is homeless as sleeping on the street, old, male, with drug and alcohol and mental health issues, with little will power to help themselves. This perception could not be more disillusioned.”
Her home for the night was a spot under a bridge in Midsummer common, usually home of Caesarian Sunday.
She writes frankly, “Under the bridge it was damp, dark and dirty. Could I smell urine, see spiders, a bit of toilet paper?”
In her sixth year at Cambridge now, the Murray Edwards student is a role model to girls all over the country.
This stint under the stars was a first-time for Carina. Her diary describes the fear she felt that night:
“I could smell dogs and cigarettes, remnants from a previous tenant. I tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable… In the distance I could hear voices and laughter – students on a night out with alcohol in their system?
“I prayed they would not get any closer. Then I heard movement in the water – swans. Only two metres from the waters edge, I recalled how vicious they can be. It seemed that noises were amplified and I could not ignore a single one.”
She goes on to say that she was “chilled to the bone” despite wearing “three layers on the bottom half and five layers on the top half of my body”.
Speaking exclusively to The Tab, Carina said: “I would certainly not recommend sleeping rough without notifying the appropriate organisations and without support nearby. It can be dangerous. I hope that students will become interested in the Cambridge University Global Health society’s outreach programme and either join in or support the homeless in their own community.
“I have been working with the homeless for a number of years and look forward to using the Miss England title to advocate more widely about this important issue.”
Carina is remaining firmly on the pageant treadmill, preparing for Miss World on December 14th on home ground in London.