03 August 2020, The Tablet

The Miss England finalist on a mission to help those with complex needs

by Constance Iloghalu

The Miss England finalist on a mission to help those with complex needs

My name is Constance and I am a young British-Nigerian Catholic woman. From a young age, I have always loved the performing arts and I am currently a Miss England Finalist. The winner of Miss England will represent England at the 70th Miss World in 2021.

I am competing in Miss England because I believe that it is a platform to carry out my God-given charity mission, which is to help individuals with learning difficulties and complex needs, both in the UK and abroad.

Constance takes part in a Black Lives Matter march in London from Marble Arch to Parliament Square, on Sunday 2 August, 2020.

I have experienced first-hand the challenges that those who are disabled might face. Life is difficulty already. However, when you are disabled or have complex needs, life is even harder. Therefore, if I were to win Miss England, I would make it my mission to make the lives of those with complex needs better. Furthermore, as a Black English woman, I know the hurdles that the people in my community face and I believe that it would be an opportunity to further support my community. Finally, I dream of changing the misconception of beauty, and showing a more diverse form of beauty. Beauty comes in all shades , sizes and hair types.

It began at the Miss London regional heats. I was successful in my audition in February this year, I was so nervous! I did not know what to expect, however the photographer was very lovely, and made me feel at ease. A week later, I was emailed and told that I had passed my audition and was able to progress into the regional heats for Miss London.

As a result of lockdown, the Miss London regional heat was virtual, and it consisted of our introduction, walking and catwalk video entry. I also took part in the beauty with a purpose charity initiative, which involved raising funds for the Beauty With a Purpose Charity, founded by Julia Morley the chairman of Miss World. I raised £197.28.

I was successful in this regional heat and progressed into Miss England semifinals.

The semifinals took place Friday 31 July. Originally meant to be held in Nottingham, as a result of lockdown restrictions, it was virtual – the first time ever in the history of the competition. It consisted of our introduction, walking, and talent video entry being judged. There were also various other rounds – bare-face entry, where we were encouraged to share a picture of ourselves without makeup. I enjoyed this round as it encouraged me to embrace my natural beauty, and to remember not to hide behind makeup or hair extensions.

We were also invited to participate in the fundraising round, in which we were encouraged to raise funds for the Beauty with a Purpose initiative. Through activities such as the 19-day challenge where I took part in a different activity every day for 19 days, running 5k every day for a week, selling items and the donations of others, I was able to raise £1365.53. One hundred per cent of the funds go towards helping children who are disadvantaged in the UK and abroad.

Another round I truly enjoyed was the Eco round in which we were encouraged to make an eco-friendly outfit from scratch, and fundraise on a scheme which aims to help the UK carbon neutral by 2050, whilst providing jobs for individuals in Africa. I was able to raise £750, and as I was the highest fundraiser, I was awarded the title of Miss Eco and given a place at the Miss England finals. We also participated in other rounds, such as the social media round and publicity round.

Now that I am a Miss England Finalist, I have reached the final hurdle and am determined to do my best in this competition. I want to win. I am fighting away the thoughts of imposter syndrome, and striving for the best. I do feel like a small fish in a big pond, and I wonder what lies ahead but I know that this platform will open opportunities for not only myself, but my wider community and will allow me to impact the lives of others for the better. Therefore, I am going forward with strong courage, “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)


Constance Iloghalu is on Instagram. She is a family support worker. For the competition, she is sponsored by All African Colours. Her fundraising page is here. Among other places, the finalists have been covered in the Daily Star. Watch the finals live and vote here.


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