Mansfield's Nikita steps up her community work in bid to win beauty pageant
Nikita, 23, was bullied at school and has been plagued by anxiety issues since the death of her younger brother when she was only seven years old.
But now she has reached the final of the Miss Natural Beauty England/UK competition, which focuses a lot on personality and contestants’ work for charities.
So Nikita has been busy organising an Easter egg collection for the children’s wards at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton.
And after collecting more than 150 chocolate eggs, she has handed them over to staff at the hospital in time for the Easter holiday.
She was helped by fellow beauty pageant contestants, Mansfield sisters Layla and Jasmine Allsop. The sisters are preparing for competitions run by Royal UK Pageants, with Layla, 20, going for the Royal Miss title and Jasmine, 17, for the Royal Teen honour.
"We collected from businesses, friends and family,” said Nikita. “We had amazing support and would like to thank everyone who donated. The hospital staff were so happy with the number of eggs we delivered.”
Nikita hails from New Houghton but now lives in Shirland, Derbyshire with her boyfriend, Ben Holden, 24. She works as a creative assistant for the Pleasley Vale-based company, Starcrossed Boutique, which makes hats and fascinators for ladies.
She attributes beauty pageants with bringing her out of her shell after all the problems of her early years.
"I competed in Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest and was runner-up in 2019,” she said.
“I absolutely loved it because it gave me so much more confidence. I am a really anxious person, but these pageants are helping me a lot.”
As part of the Miss Natural Beauty pageant, contestants have been challenged to raise money for two charities nominated by the organisers, so Nikita has arranged a big charity funday on Saturday, June 18 at the Red Lion pub in Shirland.
Entry is free for an event that will feature live bands, games, entertainment, raffles and a tombola. She is hoping to generate £800.
Nikita has also taken part in a 50k walking challenge to raise money, and she is planning to volunteer at a care home ahead of the pageant final, which takes place at Warrington in Cheshire on Saturday, July 16.
The final comprises several rounds, including interview, dance, fashionwear and evening wear. Two of Nikita’s dresses for the final are being sponsored by the bridal shop, Cherished Wedding Boutique, of Leeming Street, Mansfield, for whom she did modelling work for four years.
If Nikita is successful in Warrington, she will qualify for an international final, to be held in Belgium next year. And she is hoping this will enable her to boost two charities that are particularly close to her heart, Child Bereavement UK, in honour of her late brother, and BulliesOut.
"It would give me the exposure to raise money for them,” she said. “When my brother died, there was hardly any bereavement support in the area, but this charity is very effective.
"Also, I was bullied so badly at school that I had to leave in year nine to be home-schooled. I would love to go into schools now and talk about the work of BulliesOut.”