Interview with Erika Jones – FOEW North England and Wales Finalist
Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey for my pageant lockdown blog it’s lovely getting to know fellow pageant queens and more about the systems that they represent.
Can you introduce yourself ?
I am a Finalist for FOEW- North England and Wales. My name is Erika Jones and I am 24 years old
What made you enter pageants ?
I had always been interested in the thought of entering a pageant but didn’t know enough information about them. After looking into Face of Wales, I liked the look of this system so I messaged the director. I asked director Jade if you had to be a certain height or size to enter and when she told me there were no restrictions and I entered instantly. The day I entered changed my life forever. Over the past year I have seen my confidence grow and I’m not afraid to say im proud of my own achievements.
Have you competed before if so can you tell us about your journey?
I competed in Face of Wales in 2019. This was in fact the start of my pageant journey. In the lead up to finals I managed to raise £250 for Headway East Kent and Glan Clwyd Cancer Unit. I also developed my platform which is Dementia Awareness. I came Runner up and took home the Princess sash that evening along with most publicity and best in interview.
What made you decide to compete in FOEW ?
I enjoyed every moment of my journey up to the finals in Face of Wales that I decided I wanted to compete again. I put my sash back on 1 week after the Face of Wales Finals, I knew i didn’t want my journey to end with this system. Which brings me to where I am now, a FOEW North England and Wales Finalist. It’s been nice to come back again because I have learnt alot more about the system and pageantry this time round.
What the best thing that pageants have taught you?
Pageants have taught me that it is okay to be myself and to love myself a little bit more. I’ve seen my confidence grow so much over this past year in pageantry. Pageants have also taught me to be proud of my achievements. I feel people are afraid to boast about what they have achieved but I’m not afraid to say to the world ‘I’ve raised £250 for charity’ or ‘I make sensory bottles for the elderly to enhance their way of living’. They have taught me that self love is okay and very important.
What’s your pageant platform and why?
My platform is Dementia Awareness. This is my platform because I work as an Activities coordinator in a dementia care home. It is my job to create stimulating activities for those living with Dementia. My job doesnt stop the illness but I can help slow it down. I launched a campaign called Disney for Dementia during Dementia awareness week where I would post a Disney inspired picture along with a fact/statistic about Dementia. My goal is to spread awareness that someone can still live well with Dementia which is why i am relaunching my sensory bottle campaign. This campaign is a chance for people to get creative and make sensory bottles for those living with Dementia. They can then donate them to their local care homes. Sensory stimulation can reduce anxiety and depression and the sensory bottles help this along with many more benefits.
What’s your dream title ?
My dream title is FOEW Europe and the World.
If you were to win FOEW Europe what would it mean to you ?
It would mean the world to me. Being so passionate about a system and winning the international would be a dream come true.
What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant queens ?
Prepare! Always prepare and plan. Make a plan with goals. Prepare for your events and appearances. It’s always good to have a vision of what you want to do as a Finalist or a Queen. And even if your plans don’t turn out the way you wanted to, there is always a Plan B. Never give up on your dreams.
What have you been doing in the run up to your pageant final ?
I have been getting out into the community as much as I can and supporting other pageant girls with their events. I have been volunteering at my local animal rescue and poppy appeal. I have also been planning my own fundraising events. One being my Hats for Headway walk up Snowdon but due to the current Covid situation I have postponed this to later this year. I have taken this time to develop my platform and sensory bottle campaign.
What’s your favourite ever appearance ?
This is a hard question. I dont think I could pick just one. But my favourite appearance during my time as a FOEW- North England and Wales Finalist has to be the North Clwyd Animal Rescue new years dog walk. I volunteered to walk a rescue dog on a 3 mile walk on new years day. I was given a dog called Daisy-may and I was so sad when I had to part with her at the end of the walk.
How has the lockdown due to COVID19 effected your pageant journey ?
It hasn’t affected my pageant journey drastically. I have still been able to fundraise for my chosen charities as I have hosted quizzes and online pageants. I have also been dressing up as Disney characters and sending video messages to children in isolation with a friend of mine. Between us we have sent out over 1000 videos whilst raising money for the NHS. The only downside is that I’m not able to go out.
How can we follow your journey?
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey it’s been lovely getting to you better and more about your platform. Much love Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.