A CHIRK woman has reflected on a successful year during which she was crowned Miss Grand Wales.

Lauren Parkinson has represented her country across the world over the past few years, flying the Welsh flag at pageants as far away as America and Asia.

The 23-year-old is now looking to take more of a back seat after her success, and help others with their ventures into pageanting.

“I am so happy with everything I have achieved this year – it has been filled with lots of opportunities and travelling,” said Lauren.

“I had the honour to go to Florida to judge an international pageant and also, I spent a month in Myanmar competing at the Miss Grand International pageant, where I met 74 girls from all over the world. For 2019 I want to focus more on my career and travelling.

“Although I probably won’t do any more pageants for a few years – I would still like to be involved and help others on their journey.”

After being crowned Miss Galaxy Wales in 2017 and finishing fourth in the international galaxy beauty contest, Lauren took the title of Miss Grand Wales in 2018, and says it is one of her biggest achievements so far.

“The highlight of my year was being crowned Miss Grand Wales,” she said.

“For me this was an opportunity which has opened doors for me and doing something I love and travelling at the same time is something I am grateful for.

“On top of that, another highlight in 2018 was having the opportunity to attend many events and helping to raise money for the Christie charity.”

“I had the amazing opportunity to go to Myanmar to represent Wales in the Miss Grand International pageant. Being able to go there and do my country proud and have supporters from all over the world means so much to me.

“I take pride in being a good role model for the younger generation and I hope that one day they will also want to represent their country in such a prestigious international pageant.”

Lauren believes pageanting over the past four years has helped her grow as a person, and said she encourages others to do the same.

She added: “My advice to anyone thinking about getting into pageants is do it!

“How many 23-years-olds can say they can travel the world for free and meet amazing girls from along the way. It has opened so many doors for modelling, promotional work and had really helped me set goals and achieve them. It has helped me understand that through hard work you can achieve great things.

“Setting goals and being able to achieve them is not impossible as long as you make a plan.”

Lauren said she could not thank her mum enough for her support and help along the way.

“I have to say a huge thanks to my mother Louise as not only has she been my biggest supporter and hairdresser she also travelled all the way to Myanmar to support me,” she said.

“For the past three years I have been working with my amazing director Holly Pirrie and she has been a huge part of my life for the short time. She helped me so much and really shaped me into the person I am today.

“It would take me a lot of time to thank everyone but one of my main thanks is to the amazing Pageant Girl UK team, my family and friends and my amazing employers at Reid and Roberts Wrexham for being so understanding.”