A dream has become reality for a Thurrock woman who has been crowned Miss United Kingdom.
Hayley Mac, 24, of Grays, said it was a dream come true to be crowned winner of the Miss United Kingdom Galaxy beauty pageant.
And the former Thurrock and Basildon College student is in for a busy few months with public appearances, charity work and a trip to Florida in July to compete for the Miss Galaxy title all on the agenda.
Hayley, who competed under the name of Miss Essex, beat rivals from 33 other counties to become Miss UK Galaxy at the final in Manchester.
She said: “When I found out I had won It didn’t sink in at first. I had always imagined what it would be like. I feel i’ve achieved my dream now so i’m really happy.
“I’ll be in my element in Florida because it’s the home of pageants. I can’t wait.”
Hayley will be guided by the experience of Miss Florida - Melissa Dill - who will be coaching her for the final.
As part of Hayley’s role as Miss UK Galaxy she is supporting the Help for Heroes charity as well as a number of local causes.
She recently supported the fundraising efforts of Grays firefighters and is set for a return to the station for their Summer Fete on June 6.
Hayley is also keen to dispel any rumours about Essex girls.
She added: “Essex girls are tarnished and I want to break that stereotype.
“I’d like to thank Debbie the director for giving me this opportunity and Image Takers for sponsoring me and making it possible for me to take part.”
Hayley was also recently picked from thousands of wannabes to make it into the squad of eight “Bennetts Babes”.
Bennetts, a motorcycle insurance firm, have a competition every year to select a “Bennetts Babe” squad.
The babes tour with the motorcycle championship team and are at all the events.