A CATRINE schoolgirl has been crowned a grand finalist in the Junior Miss Galaxy beauty pageant – beating competition from across the UK.

Lucy Mclaughlin, 12, former Junior Miss North Ayrshire Galaxy 20-21, travelled down to Preston to clinch the title.

Although she didn’t manage the top spot, the ambitious youngster was named a grand finalist, meaning she won a £100 voucher for a designer clothing store in Warrington and the opportunity to rub shoulders with former Love Island contestant, Sharon Gaffka, who formed part of the judging panel.

Lucy’s proud mum, Samantha, told the Chronicle: “She had taken part in Little Miss Teen North Ayrshire and won it and from that she has become a grand finalist in Junior Miss Galaxy representing Ayrshire.

“She got a £100 voucher for The Dress Studio which she’s very excited about. She first went to Preston in October for Little Miss Teen GB. That was a two-day event. It is a pageant but it’s not a beauty one, it’s based on things you do. Lucy plays violin and does dancing so we put all that in.

“Over the two days, they had a pyjama party and did team building challenges. They also raised money for a charity, Together for Short Lives. She set up a Justgiving page for that and sold raffle tickets.

“When she got to the grand final of Galaxy UK pageant, she was so happy. One half is your interview, and the other half is your choice so she chose fashion wear and prom wear.”

Samantha continued: “One of the judges at Little Miss Teen GB was Sharon Gaffka from Love Island. Lucy was chuffed.

“Not one of the girls at the pageant looked the same, it was very diverse and the age category was 12-14. She was one of the younger ones but had a brilliant day.”

Inspired by the pageant’s fundraising activities, Lucy is now looking to continue her own charity work, and hopes to make a real difference before competing in her next event.

Samantha added: “We’ve got no plans to do any more this year but we might go back. Lucy used to be part of North Ayrshire Orchestra, now she plays at Dumfries House for the Royal Conservatoire. She also does musical theatre at Centrestage.

“That’s the thing about the beauty pageant, it’s not just about beauty but the achievements outside of that. It’s worthwhile for the confidence building alone.”

Lucy said: “It has been a great experience being a part of Miss Teen Great Britain and a Junior Miss Galaxy grand finalist. From winning the beautifully inspiring award, I want to inspire other girls to be confident and know that being beautiful is not just your looks.”