world : 'Pageants help me raise neurodiversity awareness'

world : 'Pageants help me raise neurodiversity awareness'
world : 'Pageants help me raise neurodiversity awareness'

Friday 14 June 2024 08:30 AM

Nafeza 2 world - The newly crowned Miss Essex 2024 said she was using her title and pageant platform to raise awareness and acceptance for the neurodiverse community.

Lauren Jennings, 27, was diagnosed with combined attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) two years ago - a prognosis that brought her relief and "feeling of grief for my past self".

It started a journey for self-discovery where she found pageantry, confidence, and a platform to raise awareness.

After winning the title of Miss Essex on Sunday, Miss Jennings said she would proudly continue representing Essex and the neurodiverse community at the Miss Great Britain finals in October.

"I always struggled with disorganisation and feeling like I wasn't a real adult," Ms Jennings said when asked about life before her diagnosis.

"Before knowing I had ADHD I didn't know I was struggling with things like my organisation...I wasn't getting it.

"I am a very busy lady, so I now have different ways of managing it. I'm very vocal about my ADHD with people around me and I have been using alarms and reminders on my phone to help."

Miss Jennings an ADHD UK ambassador, holds regular coffee mornings to discuss neurodiversity and has given talks in schools.

"I am so passionate about being a representative for the neurodiverse community because I want us to be heard, seen, and accepted," she said.

"In my heart, when I was the first runner up last year, I knew I would compete again because I was determined to be that representative.

"This year I was over the moon and crying happy tears [when I was crowned]. I am incredibly proud of myself and the work I have done and will continue to do."

Miss Jennings won the crown of Miss Essex 2024 and took home the charity award for her fundraising efforts.

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