BEING ‘spotted’ and asked to enter a beauty contest must be enough to boost any teenager girl’s confidence.
And Ashleigh Wild from Poulton is hoping to go one step further as a finalist of Miss Junior Fylde Coast.
The 14-year-old is up against 11 other local girls in the grand final, which will take place the same evening as the Miss Fylde Coast competition, at The Sands Venue, in Blackpool, on Sunday, November 25.
It is an exciting opportunity for the Hodgson High School pupil, as it will be the first time she has ever entered such a competition.
Ashleigh, who hopes to eventually go into a career with the police force or in forensic science, said: “I was just out shopping one day in the Houndshill Centre in Blackpool with my friend and I was approached and told I had the sort of look they were after and I should enter the competition.
“That was a real boost of confidence anyway and then I got through to the final.
“I was really excited. I’ve never done anything like this before.
“I was really surprised to get through.
“I have thought about doing things like this, but never really thought I would get the opportunity.”
As part of her preparation for the competition, Ashleigh has to raise funds for the charity Beauty with Purpose. She has been busy organising a raffle and getting local businesses to donate prizes. She is also planning a cake sale at school for the week after half-term. For the grand final, she will have to wear different outfits in four rounds - evening wear, sportswear, swimwear and eco-wear.
Ashleigh, whose favourite subjects are PE and history, said: “I’m currently talking to students at the college because one of the girls has made a dress out of recycled plastic bags and tissue, so I am hoping I might be able to wear that.
“For the sportswear, I am a cheerleader with Blackpool Scorpions, so that outfit is already organised.
“I am looking forward to it and excited now, but a bit nervous too. It’s a good experience and I feel more confident already.”
Proud mum Clare said she was thrilled Ashleigh had got through to the final and the whole family – including little brother Mason, seven, would be there to support her on the night.
She said: “I’m really proud. She is doing really well with the fundraising.
“The school has been great and really supportive, especially with the fundraising – when I told the head teacher, he said Ashleigh was really well thought of in school, which was lovely.”
Ashleigh – who is being sponsored by The Nails Place in Thornton for the competition – is hoping local people will get behind her bid to be crowned Miss Junior Fylde Coast 2012 by voting for her, when voting opens. For more information, log onto www.miss-fylde-coast.co.uk