This September, orthopaedic nurse Jessica Jones, from Mosborough, will be changing dressings of a very different kind as she gets set to compete in the Miss Great Britain final for the third time.
Swapping her scrubs for sequins, Jessica (26) will represent her hometown of Sheffield, having won the title of Miss Sheffield earlier this year. But this isn’t the first time she’s taken the steel crown; Jessica won the same title in 2015 aged 22 – the first pageant she ever entered. The following year she won the Miss Lincolnshire title which saw her win a place at the Miss Great Britain final for a second time.
“The first time I was able to represent Sheffield at Miss Great Britain I was really nervous and didn’t have half the confidence of what I have got now. I’ve grown so much as a person and it’s great to be able to pick back up where I left off and have a second chance to represent my city.”
In 2017, Jessica hung up her sash and took a hiatus from pageants while she completed her nursing degree at the University of Nottingham. She qualified in March last year at the start of the pandemic and now works in the orthopaedic department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
But Jessica now wants to prove to younger girls it’s never too late to follow your dreams or let people tell you otherwise.
Jessica has postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) which increases the heart rate causing dizziness and fainting. Because of this, she was told she couldn’t be a nurse due to the long hours she’d have to spend on her feet.
“But I didn’t let that stop me and now I’m a fully qualified nurse which is my greatest achievement so far. it has been a tough journey as there have been times where I’ve been so poorly that I felt like giving up. But I’m so glad I carried on as I love my career and looking after others. I think it’s proof that you should always believe in yourself and go for whatever you dream of doing.”
This year’s regional heats have been slightly different than normal due to Covid; the traditional evening wear and interview rounds were replaced with photograph submissions and a virtual Q&A session for judges to pick their winners. But normality will resume at the final, , where Jessica will go up against other young women from across the country to bring the crown back to Sheffield.
Other competitors include a PE teacher, soldier, law student and cake maker. This year, there will also be separate awards for Ms Great Britain – ladies over 27 – and a Ms Great Britain Classic for women aged 40 and above.
Jessica is sponsored by Killamarsh car dealership, WHS World, and will be using her platform to raise money for two charities; Cancer Research UK and Alex’s Wish which supports children with the rare genetic disorder, Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
“There’s a lot more to pageantry than people think. It’s not just a case of just turn up on the day, look pretty, smile and you’ll be fine. There is a good amount of responsibility to make appearances and raise money for charity. I raised about £4,000 last time I competed and I’m hoping to match or beat this in 2021.”
The winner of Miss Great Britain, which is the longest running beauty pageant in the UK, will go on to compete in Miss Tourism which is a global competition. Past finals have been held in Greece and Thailand, but I’m sure a break anywhere in the world would be just the tonic for Jessica after working flat out throughout the pandemic.
The Miss Great Britain final is being held in Leicester on 16 and 17 September.
“I’m hoping my family will be allowed to come to the final as it always helps give me extra confidence knowing my family and friends and there supporting me. It will be strange if not as they have been behind me all the way so far. My mum is my role model as she’s always put my sister and I first above everything, but more so with my illness. And my dad has just had the all clear from cancer so it would be amazing to have him there and see how much money we’ve raised for Cancer Research.”