Kettering beauty queen defies pain and injury to aim for Ms Great Britain title
She will represent Northamptonshire in the finals in Leicester
A Kettering entertainer living with life-changing injuries after a car accident a decade ago has launched her bid to be crowned Ms Great Britain - and to raise as much money for her chosen charity.
Stephanie Smith was working at a holiday park in her home county of Kent when the car in which she was travelling rolled three times down an embankment, leaving her with permanent nerve damage.
Balancing a part time role as a receptionist with her charitable fundraising for a Ugandan orphanage, the 30-year-old is hoping to win the national beauty pageant title.
She said: "The charity touched my heart. The Generosity Ministry was founded by an amazing man named Yada Avidon Milton. Rebels slaughtered his parents in front of his eyes. Against all the odds, he survived. Grateful for his chance, he is devoting his life to caring for 25 young children who have lost their parents, and he helps to provide love, support, and education."
His story so heartened Stephanie that she decided to save small amounts of money for them during the 2021 lockdown.
Despite chronic pain, extreme fatigue, weakness, and memory loss caused by the accident, she has also had to contend with an operation on her bowel and emergency surgery to remove he appendix.
She said: "The thought of ongoing injections, procedures and endless hospital visits is sometimes almost too much to bear. I have days when I feel crushed and hopeless, not knowing what tomorrow will bring but I still have hopes and ambitions and a strong desire to help others, that keeps me going. "
The Ms Great Britain finals, mark her third appearance at the Leicester-based event with a weekend of competition including a fashion, ballgown and swimwear round as well as an interview.
She said: "I love the unique camaraderie, but above all, I welcome the opportunity to raise money for the Ms Great Britain charities Alex's Wish and Cancer Research UK. There's no other reason than to raise money for the charities."
Stephanie's dress for the final will be kindly provided by Aimee's Prom and Evening Wear Boutique in Kettering and she has been helped by sponsor Carl Peach.
Mum Donna Smith will be there to support her daughter.
Stephanie said: "She's my biggest supporter. She's my best friend
"Pageants are a massive thing for me. I can do catwalk. Just for one night it's going to cause me a bit of pain but it's worth it.
"I believe that it is my destiny to help others, and my inner light is guiding me."
You can help the Generosity Ministry by donating here.