Teenager’s online beauty pageant raises money in memory of beloved granny

Dee Neligan from East Kent Hospitals Charity, receives a cheque from Lara Lynch in memory of her grandmother Liz Masters
Dee Neligan, left, from East Kent Hospitals Charity, receives the cheque from Lara

Published on 19 October 2020

A teenage beauty queen set up her own online pageant to raise money for the hospital where her grandmother sadly died from coronavirus.

Lara Lynch was heartbroken when her grandmother Liz Masters died in May, at the age of 62, at the William Harvey Hospital. Liz had been one of her granddaughter’s most stalwart supporters, never missing a competition. 

So Lara, 16, who is Deputy Miss Dover Town and a finalist to represent England in the Miss European Global competition, decided to set up her own pageant in memory of her grandmother.

She said: “My granny has always been a big part of my life and I really wanted to do something in her legacy.

“I named the pageant Miss Angel Queen 2020 and tailored everything towards her, even down to the logo design and colours – green was her favourite.

“Over the 11 weeks it was running it got 625 members in the Facebook group, and 122 people entered the pageant.”

Lara also ran daily ‘crown raffles’ and broadcast live to the group each evening. She also used the group to raise awareness of coronavirus and the risks, and to encourage people to stay safe.

She was delighted to raise more than £2,500 for East Kent Hospitals Charity.

Lara said: “The support I have been given throughout has been absolutely amazing and I am so grateful to everyone.

“My granny was always super-supportive throughout my life and I feel privileged to be able to do this for her.

“She spoke very highly of the care she received at the hospital so I wanted to raise money to give something back. NHS staff are an inspiration and I wanted to thank them for everything they had done.”

Liz was looking forward to watching Lara compete in the Miss European Global competition and the teenager, a pupil at Dover Christ Church Academy, is hoping to succeed in her memory.

She said: “My granny taught me to keep following your dreams, no matter what happens in life, so that is exactly what I am going to do.”

Danielle Neligan, senior charity officer at East Kent Hospitals Charity, said staff were touched by Lara’s efforts.

She said: “The team on Oxford ward, where Liz was treated, were delighted with the support they have received from Lara and her family.

“As they have requested, the money will be split between the ward and the research team, who are working hard on trials to improve the treatment we can offer to patients with Covid-19.

“It is a wonderful legacy for Liz and I am sure she would be so proud of Lara, and as impressed as we are with her commitment and focus to helping others even in the face of the heart-breaking loss of her granny.”