Suffolk's teen queen hope

A TROUBLED teenager who once thought there was no point in living has spoken of how two special education units have helped turn her life around.

Richard Cornwell

A TROUBLED teenager who once thought there was no point in living has spoken of how two special education units have helped turn her life around.

Sixteen-year-old Laura O'Reilly is now looking forward confidently to the future - and has made it to the semi-finals of beauty pageant Miss Teen Queen UK.

She is now hoping Suffolk people will vote for her and get her through to the competition's big summer final in London.


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“I would love it if something came from this competition,” said Laura, who lives with her mum and step-dad, Angela and Peter O'Reilly in Beach Station Road, Felixstowe.

“I had to go up to London to do the photo shoot and I absolutely loved it. It was such fun and I would love to be involved in modelling.”

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Laura was bullied as a small girl and taunting over her dad's death from liver failure left her with severe emotional scars.

“It was a huge shock to me having come this far in Miss Teen Queen because I never thought I was beautiful - I was always being called ugly and was bullied at school,” she said.

“When I went to high school I found it hard to cope with every day life and went off the rails completely.

“I went to a children's home for a few months and it was terrible. I didn't know why I was the way I was, but my family helped me pull through.”

Since then she has been taken out of mainstream school and attended pupil referral units Alderwood and Parkside.

“It was really different because I had never been to a place that was so kind before - they have done wonders for me and helped me come to terms with every day life,” she said.

“The people there are really understanding and I have made some great friends, they have built up my confidence and showed me that life can be really happy as well.”

A friend encouraged her to go in for the beauty pageant.

“When I got that phone call saying I had to go to London I just couldn't believe it - my dreams had just came true,” said Laura, who has a step-brother Peter, 20, and step-sister Sophia, 22.

“At one time I thought there was no point in living and now my life has changed from something terrible to absolutely amazing.”

The competition is for girls aged 16 to 19 and those receiving most votes will go through to the final and chance to win thousands of pounds of prizes, including a laptop, clothes and beauty products.

To vote for Laura, logon to www.missteenqueenuk.com

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