A STUDENT who set her sights on becoming Miss Teen Great Britain has been sharing her experiences of bullying with classmates at Leamington College.
Keelie Fowkes, 17, was speaking with her peers at the college as part of Anti-Bullying Week.
As a victim of bullying at secondary school, the health and social care student is motivated to use her experiences to raise awareness of the problems that can beset victims.
Keelie, who lives in Coventry, has raised over £300 for Bullies Out, an anti-bullying charity based in Wales which runs Anti-Bullying Week from November 14 to 18.
She’s climbed Snowdon as part of her fundraising mission, as well as holding a charity photoshoot.
Keelie competed in the Miss Teen Great Britain 2022 contest, where, as Miss Teen Rugby, she faced other 16 to 19-year-olds from across the country for the chance to become the UK’s teen pageantry queen.
She finished in the top 20 in the nationwide competition. Keelie is now set to compete in Miss Teen Pageant Girl UK in Manchester in July, and will be hosting a range of fundraising events ahead of the pageant – with aims to raise a further £1,000 for BulliesOut.
Keelie said: “To go from never standing up in front of an audience before to twice in quick succession at the Miss Teen Great Britain contest and in front of my classmates to deliver a bullying talk is a challenge and a little nerve wracking, but I wanted to do this.
“I enjoyed not only speaking with my classmates, but also delivering the anti-bullying message and discussing how I’m moving on with my life.
“I’m in a much better place now compared to where I was back then, and am really enjoying my involvement in pageantry and supporting Bullies Out as much as I can.
“Finding schools that support me, show genuine empathy and care about my situation has been problematic, so I’d like to thank the college helping me to enjoy student life again.
“Through their support for Anti-Bullying Week, it’s clear that WCG wants to lead from the front and ensure bullying does not take place on its campuses across Warwickshire.”