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The current Miss Leicestershire is hosting a charity ball to raise money for the prevention of young suicide, as she admits to having suffered with poor mental health herself.

Tia Carter, 20, is hosting the ‘Shine A Little Light Ball’ later this month, to raise money for PAPYRUS charity – the national charity for the prevention of young suicide.

She has chosen to raise money for the cause, after suffering from poor mental health in the past.

Picture: Tia Carter

“The reason I have called the ball ‘Shine A Light’ is because of PAPYRUS”, explained Tia, who was crowned Miss Leicestershire in her back garden by elder sister Sapphire, herself a former Miss Leicestershire.

“The metaphor for me symbolises the light at the end of the tunnel for someone when their days are dark. I myself have suffered with my mental health and have received counselling and having someone to confide in during those tough times is important. That is why I am raising money for PAPYRUS and the money could save lives,” she said.

“Any donations will mean a lot, not only to me but also to the people whose lives it will help save. We all have days when we feel down but for some those days feel never ending and the pain feels overwhelming. With the help of PAPYRUS those overwhelming days could become fewer and fewer.”

The team at PAPYRUS works with young people to improve mental health by keeping an open helpline called HOPELINKUK, where people can talk to someone honestly about how they feel and get some advice.

As well as supporting mental health, Tia is also currently working on volunteering for children’s educational charities to help children that struggle with learning difficulties.

She struggles with dyslexia, and has done some volunteering work with Warning Zone, a Leicester-based charity dedicated to teaching life-skills and safeguarding children.

“Whilst being involved with Miss England this year I would love to be an advocate for children and adults that struggle with dyslexia like myself. A lot of the time dyslexia is just passed off as a struggle with reading when in actual fact it is so much more than that. For myself I have struggled with my writing, speaking and spelling and in the understanding of tasks that people have asked me to do and things took me a little longer than the average person. I just want people who struggle with dyslexia to know that that they are not alone. I was able to do an Engineering Access course and an Optical Assistants apprenticeship course.”

Away from the catwalk Tia, who lives in Oadby, has been a dance teacher and professional model and works as an optical receptionist. She is an aspiring motor engineer who hopes to go to university in September 2023 to study Electrical Engineering. 

She is due to compete at the Miss England semi final in London on Monday, August 22.

The 2022 Miss England Final takes place at The Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry on Monday, October 17.

Tia’s ‘Shine A Little Light’ ball will take place on August 20, in the Sanctuary Workshops in Sanvey Lane, Aylestone.

To purchase tickets, search: ‘Shine A Little Light Ball’ on Facebook.