Romford woman through to Ms Great Britain 2021 final

Shereen Sally, finalist in the Ms Great Britain 2021 competition

Romford-based Shereen Sally is a finalist in the Ms Great Britain 2021 competition - Credit: Shereen Sally

A Romford woman has been chosen as a finalist for a national beauty pageant. 

In September, Shereen Sally will attend the finals of Ms Great Britain 2021, a new competition division within Miss Great Britain for women aged 28 to 39. 

Last year 30-year-old April Banbury from Hertfordshire was crowned the first-ever Ms Great Britain. 

Any woman with a British passport can enter the competition, which should not be confused with Miss United Kingdom, the UK’s highest-ranked contestant in the Miss World pageant. 

Shereen decided to enter the competition after losing her brother five years ago when he was just 34, which she described as a “huge loss and shock” to her family. 

She explained: “Losing him reminded me of not only how precious life is but also to make every day count.  

“I am now 34 years old myself and don’t want to let any opportunity pass me by.” 

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The mother-of-one is responsible for student services and the student experience at engineering school TEDI-London, and said she was drawn to Ms Great Britain because it stood for values she shared, empowerment and encouragement of diversity. 

She added: “I want to be a role model and give hope to not only my daughter, but all children and woman out there who have faced discrimination for something they simply can’t change.” 

Shereen Sally smiling

The pageant contestant will be examined on her interview and fundraising skills - Credit: Shereen Sally

Shereen, who was born in the UK and is of Sri Lankan descent, recalled experiencing racism as a child and feeling different from her extended family. 

“As a British Asian woman, I never would have thought to apply for something with the title of Ms Great Britain,” she explained. 

“Growing up I struggled with my identity and not always knowing where I fit.” 

Now Shereen is determined to be a “role model” for other women and girls. 

She is fundraising for Cancer Research and Alex’s Wish, a charity combatting duchenne muscular dystrophy, and is being sponsored by two bakeries owned by women of south Asian descent, Dee Bakes and Kiki Cookies. 

Shereen, who spent her maternity leave travelling the world, said she’s excited about her latest adventure. 

Shereen Sally in Machu Picchu

Shereen Sally spent her maternity leave travelling around the world, including climbing Machu Picchu in Peru - Credit: Shereen Sally

“It’s really exciting, but also nerve-wracking, as I’ve never done anything like this before,” she said. 

“But this isn’t just about me, it’s about empowering others.”

The final is set to take place in Leicester this September.

Follow @shereen_sally on Instagram to keep up-to-date with Shereen's progress.

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