Sheffield teenager swaps muddy fields for catwalk
Teenage apprentice Olivia Burgoyne spends most days in wellies and a big coat in a muddy office in the countryside.
But the 17-year-old, who works for a garden design company, is swapping the great outdoors for the catwalk as she bids to be crowned Miss England 2016.
Olivia, from Walkley, will compete against 17 other young women as she hopes to get one step closer to the title.
The teenager admits she did not expect anything would come of her application – but now she is hoping to make it through to the semi-finals of the contest.
She said: “I entered Miss England because everyone had been telling me I needed to do something like this.
“I saw this competition on the net and just chanced it really. I didn’t expect to get this far. At the moment I’m up against 17 absolutely stunning girls.”
Olivia hopes to become a quantity surveyor and is currently completing an apprenticeship with garden design company Evergreen Landscaping.
“Generally I’m in a muddy office in wellies and a coat in the middle of the countryside, so it’s been really nice to dress up, as I am a ‘girly girl’ deep down,” she said.
“To win the contest would be really nice just because I’ve not been expecting it at all and me and my boyfriend, Connor, could really do with a holiday.
“I’ve had some really good support from family and friends and everyone’s glad I’m doing it.”
Olivia is now turning her focus to fundraising – helping a charity is optional for contestants but is encouraged.
She is hoping to do a sponsored horse ride on her six-year-old horse Sally to raise money for a cause close to her heart – the Easy Horse Care Sanctuary in Alicante, Spain.
Their mission is to rescue and rehabilitate abused, neglected and abandoned horses, ponies and donkeys. They provide each rescued animal with a safe place to live, either at the centre or elsewhere, for the rest of their lives.
“I visited last year with an old friend and it was just so sad.
“I’ve grown up around horses and know just how hard it is to look after even just one,” said Olivia.
“They must have at least 30, all which have been abandoned or poorly treated.
“The house and the land they live on now was just beautiful. I’ve always remembered it and I think I always will – it was just so lovely.
“To make the horse ride special, I was hoping to dress up as something silly.”
To win, Olivia must be voted one of the top three in her heat by the public.
If she wins her heat she will go on to compete in the Miss England 2016 semi-finals, where she will be in with a chance of securing a place in the grand final.
If she goes on to be crowned Miss England 2016, she will spend her year raising awareness for various charities and will receive a host of prizes.
To vote for Olivia, text MISS SEMI07 to 63333. Texts costs 50p. Voting will close on Monday, February 22, at 8pm.