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Single mum wants to be first disabled Ms Great Britain

Sarah-Victoria Bayley
Sarah-Victoria Bayley Image credit: bbc.co.uk

A woman diagnosed with a medical condition has set her hopes on becoming the first disabled Ms Great Britain.

Sarah-Victoria Bayley from Bishopton has been in pain on a daily basis for the past 10 years  but she is determined to be put forward for the prestigious beauty contest. 

Bayley, who has fibromyalgia, B12 deficiency and Circadian rhythm sleep disorder amongst other conditions, started entering pageants five years ago.

She told BBC Scotland: "I had just split up with my ex-husband and I wanted to do something for myself.

"I studied performing arts and was a dancer before I became ill, so it felt like something I could do.

"During pageants you only have to be on stage for a couple of minutes, so I don't need to worry about being in pain.

"I entered my first pageant in 2017 and I was shocked when I won it.

"I had just had a mini-stroke four weeks before competing and I felt like it gave me 'me' back. I felt like I was myself again."

Bayley, who uses a wheelchair most of the time, believes making a finalist would raise awareness of semi-visible disabilities.

"I think people are better at recognising visible illnesses but people get confused with my situation,” she explained.

"Some days I can walk and some days I need a wheelchair.

"Even with me just being part of the pageants, I've seen changes to make pageants more inclusive.

"The director is really keen to consider which parts of the process can be made more accessible."

Bayley wants to show anyone can enter a pageant regardless of any health condition they may have.

She said: "I feel like I am an unlikely candidate for Ms Great Britain and not what a random person on the street might picture.

"I'm a single mum, disabled and almost 40. I think if I can do it, then anyone else can. I want to show that everyone is valid and good enough as they are.

"It's empowering - and even if I made one person look up and think 'well if someone like her did it, then I can too', that would be amazing," she added.

"It's not all about looks, modern day pageants are judged on a whole host of things: stage presence, confidence, there's just so much to gain from it.

"I have two teenage daughters and a son and they all do pageants and it's taught them a lot.

"There's a big emphasis on fundraising and giving back to the community."

The final of Ms Great Britain 2022 will take place on 20 and 21 October.