Brave Sheffield beauty battles it out

Chantelle Parker competing in the Miss Great Britain final.
Chantelle Parker competing in the Miss Great Britain final.
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A Sheffield stunner has overcome her fears to compete in a national beauty pageant.

Gorgeous Chantelle Parker may look like she’s brimming with confidence as one of the hopefuls in this year’s Miss Great Britain competition, but the courageous 23-year-old has battled with a number of mental health issues in the past.

Chantelle, from Handsworth, developed a fear of the outdoors – agoraphobia – after spending a lot of time at home alone after finishing college when she was searching for a job.

What started as a small problem soon escalated into a serious condition that caused Chantelle to suffer a series of panic attacks and prevented her from leaving the house.

Chantelle said: “When it started it was mainly busy places that scared me. So at one point I couldn’t go to Meadowhall, then Crystal Peaks, but then I couldn’t even go to the local shop.

“I’d lie about walking the dogs in the day and when my family went out for a meal I’d make excuses and have beans on toast at home.

“At its worst I couldn’t leave the house at all.”

Gradually over time, with the help of her mum Donna and Anxiety UK, Chantelle’s condition improved and the opportunity to compete in Miss Great Britain gave her the focus she needed to get her life back on track.

She said: “I saw the pageant advertised and decided to go for it - my mum was worried it could knock my confidence but instead it has given me the boost I needed.”

Chantelle is going up against 10 other beauties to compete for the title of Miss Nottingham, as there isn’t a Miss Sheffield title.

If successful she will then go on to the Miss Great Britain finals.

Mum Donna said: “I’m so proud of what Chantelle has achieved. She’s overcome so much to get to this point.

“There’s a real stigma attached to mental health issues but anybody can suffer from them.”