A PAGEANT winner who has been supporting local charities is jetting off to compete in America after winning a national competition.

Alannah Pettigrew, 16, from Braintree, recently got her GCSEs at Hedingham School and has now been named Miss Teen Diamond Ireland for 2021.

Alannah, whose dad comes from Dublin, had previously won the Miss Teen Diamond Essex and Miss Teen Diamond South East titles.

The heat winners then progress to the national competition but everything came to a standstill due to the pandemic.

The date for the national competition was finally set for a long weekend in Southport.

The Miss Diamond competitionis a "natural beauty" pageant and takes into account the good deeds of contestants and how they use their position to help support the community and do charity work.

Alannah has raised funds for numerous charities, including Danaher Animal Shelter and the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

Overall the Miss Diamond competitors raised more than £20,000 for charities.

Now Alannah is gearing up for the international competition and will jet off to Las Vegas in 2022.

Mum Tracey, who runs Hedingham Sports and Social Club in Sible Hedingham with husband Derek, is extremely proud of her daughter.

She said: “Alannah had previously won titles in heats Miss Teen Diamond Essex and Miss Teen Diamond South East.

“Miss Diamond is not a beauty pageant – when people hear about pageants they imagine toddlers and tiaras.

"This is a natural beauty pageant, all about the beauty inside and outside the contestants.

“Alannah has spent much of her time raising money for Essex Air Ambulance, The Samaritans, SANDS, Wellbeing of Women, the Mary Dolly Foundation and Danaher RSPCA, by running fun days, raffles, children’s events and more.

“She recently ran her own charity pageant, Miss Empowerment UK, with the aim of the contestants to empower themselves and other females.

“Alannah has also spoken out about her stand against racism and inequality. For a 16-year-old she has plenty going on."

Alannah is now studying at the London School of Performing Arts. She is also performing with the Essex Group Theatre Company in Aladdin at Witham Public Hall in December.