A woman scarred for life by her ex-boyfriend is so determined to overcome the brutal attack she’s hoping to become Miss Sunderland GB.
Chanttelle Ward’s lip was almost bitten off when her then boyfriend Rhys Culley beat her and sank his teeth into her lip.
Though scarred by the assault in February last year, the 20-year-old says making it to the finals of the beauty pageant has given her her confidence back.
“I was over the moon. I feel like I’ve proven you don’t have to be perfect to enter a competition like this,” she said.
Chanttelle, from Biddick Hall, South Shields said: “Obviously I still worry about what people think after what’s happened and I am paranoid about my scars, but this has given me confidence about my looks and the confidence to walk out on stage.”
Chanttelle will compete for the title as part of the Miss North East GB competition, which takes place at Wynyard Hall, Teesside, on July 17. If successful, she will fly the flag for Sunderland at the Miss GB finals later this year.
I feel like I’ve proven you don’t have to be perfect to enter a competition like thisChanttelle Ward
“This is something I always wanted to do, but I didn’t think I’d be chosen,” she said. “What’s happened has been so hard to deal with in many ways.”
Culley, of South Shields, denied wounding with intent but was jailed for eight years by Newcastle Crown Court in November last year.
Finances assistant Chanttelle said: “After the court case, there was a Facebook page set up in support of him and people were saying things like ‘I deserve it’. It was so hurtful and difficult walking around South Shields after that. But even though what’s happened has changed my life, it’s nice that I can do normal things like this. I did try out for a pageant when I was younger, but it didn’t work out, so I just focused on my studies and career instead. When I saw Miss Sunderland advertised I thought I’d give it a go, but I never thought I’d be chosen.”
As part of the competition, Chanttelle is raising money for Global Radio’s Make Some Noise charity, which helps disadvantaged children. As well as an American-themed day at her workplace in Newcastle, she is hosting a charity night at Westoe Rugby Club, South Shields, on July 11.
It will feature a meal, disco and raffle. Tickets are £10 for adults and free for children.
“It’s great to give something back, especially as this charity helps children in the North East,” she said.
To help Chanttelle’s fund-raising visit
To enter Miss Sunderland GB visit www.missnortheastgb.co.uk