Two years ago, 34-year-old Siobhan Gardner, who works in our Payroll Department, decided to entered pageants as a way to build confidence.
She is now Miss Voluptuous Scotland 2021/22 and hoping to compete internationally later this year.
This is her story.
My platforms are mental health awareness, especially around post-natal depression and post traumatic stress disorder and also premature birth. The reason for choosing these platforms is that in 2017 my waters broke at 23 weeks, and I was taken to hospital to await the birth of my little boy. This was my first baby and had no idea what to expect or wasn’t aware of anyone who has had a premature baby. We spent 11 weeks in hospital with a few complications. I then started to suffer with PND, and was diagnosed with post-natal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The charities which I will be raising funds for are Bliss and SAMH Scotland.
On the run up to the finals of Miss Voluptuous, I had to gain sponsors and fundraise for SAMH and the Miss Voluptuous charity, which was the Terrance Higgins Trust. I managed to raise funds by holding raffles and cycling 784km in 60 days which was the number of suicides in Scotland in 2018. This raised £400 for SAMH and £90 for Terrance Higgins Trust.
The Finals for Miss Voluptuous were due to take place in October 2020, but due to the pandemic and concerns around safety and travel the pageant was postponed, then held virtually in January 2021. I had to submit my plans for the future if I were to win, videos of outfits which were Eco, Fun Fashion and Evening Wear, and I also participated in an online interview with 11 judges!
The next the step for me is to gain more sponsors to enable me to compete in an international event which is being held in Nashville Tennessee in October 2021. This will be the first year that Miss Voluptuous has become international, the only UK pageant to go international stateside since Miss World, and I’m really excited to be part of that journey.