Finalists relishing moment in spotlight

Miss Newcastle finalist Rachel Chambers in the Old Bakehouse Millennium Green, Morpeth. Bridget Donaldson was unavailable for the picture. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Miss Newcastle finalist Rachel Chambers in the Old Bakehouse Millennium Green, Morpeth. Bridget Donaldson was unavailable for the picture. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Two university students who live in Morpeth will be vying to win the Miss Newcastle crown next week.

The finalists in the regional pageant on Friday, June 2, include Rachel Chambers and Bridget Donaldson and both are looking forward to raising awareness of the work they do for organisations and good causes.

If either are successful, they will go on to the Miss England event later in the year.

Bridget excelled during her time as a member of the 404 (Morpeth) Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC) and in December 2014, she received the Dacre Brooch – the highest award any female Air Cadet can achieve.

The major ATC activities she was involved in included taking part in a live televised debate in the House of Lords and going to Ghana for a month to carry out charitable work in poor communities via the International Air Cadet Exchange programme.

The 21-year-old, who is in the second year of a geoscience degree at Newcastle University, has a part-time job in the RAF reserve.

She is at the final interview stage for a programme that would see her get a guaranteed job as a pilot if successful.

Bridget said: “When I was asked if I wanted to apply for Miss Newcastle, I wasn’t sure at first.

“But I was assured the contest is now much more about highlighting role models for younger girls and so now that I’m a finalist, I’m looking forward to drawing awareness to the aviation sector.

“My message will be that you can enjoy dressing up for occasions such as Miss Newcastle and also have a successful career in what are traditionally male-dominated industries.”

Later in June, she will also take part in the regional event that is linked to the Miss Great Britain competition.

Bridget is organising a raffle for the Miss Newcastle charity, a fund that provides specialised equipment to children with disabilities in the North East. She is hopeful that the top prize will be an experience flight.

As part of her fund-raising, Rachel is holding a charity night Manzil Tandoori in Oldgate on Tuesday from 7pm.

The 19-year-old is a talented horse rider and she has competed at British Eventing standard, although her current horse Eden (16.2hh) is injured at the moment.

She has helped out at West House Farm Stables in Stannington for a number of years and been part of the organising team for shows at the venue in aid of Brooke – an international charity working to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules.

Rachel, who is doing a business with human resource management degree at Northumbria University, said: “I’m really looking forward to the final. I’ve met the other girls a few times now and it already feels like a family atmosphere.

“The process has helped me to gain confidence and it’s great that I can raise the profile of the good work done by everyone at West House Farm Stables.

“I’ve had fantastic support from family and friends. For example, there was an amazing turnout to support me at the launch event.”

For more information about attending the fund-rasier at Manzil Tandoori, email rachel_chambers98@yahoo.co.uk