Local Miss Scotland finalist seeks to build a platform for charity

Keryn Matthew from Danderhall, Miss Scotland finalist 2016
Keryn Matthew from Danderhall, Miss Scotland finalist 2016

A Miss Scotland finalist is hoping that success in the competition will help her raise money for, and awareness of, a charity close to her heart.

Keryn Matthew (21), from Danderhall, hopes to win the title to enable her to spread the word about dementia, particularly to younger people.

Each finalist must select a charity to support.

Keryn explained: “I chose Alzheimer’s Scotland because my grandad suffered from it. My family were very passionate about it.

“It was only after he became ill that we found out how much support they gave. What they do is absolutely amazing.

“I’m going to try to support them in any way I can.

“I will go into care homes and speak to the managers to see what they need, because my grandad went into a care home. I have been talking to Newbyres Care Home to see if I could visit one day.

“I haved never done charity work before, but this competition has forced me to do it –and I love it.”

To kick-start her fundraising drive, Keryn is holding dance classes for youngsters this weekend in Danderhall and Mayfield.

She said: “I used to teach dance for a few years so this is definitely something in my comfort zone. I’m excited to get going with it and it’s really got me thinking about what I can do to help.

“It’s a really fun way to get people fit, and I have people coming from the charity to talk to parents too.

“I would like to get as many people along as possible.

“If you win Miss Scotland you have a year’s run which you have to plan out.

“The reason I’m interested in winning so much is that it is not just a beauty pageant. It gives you a platform to make a difference.

“I don’t think that dementia is known about so much.

“I would like to use that platform to maybe bring knowledge of it to younger people and help as many care homes as possible.”

About to enter the fourth year of her ancient history course at Edinburgh University, the former Dalkeith High and Danderhall Primary School pupil, currently on an internship at a communications, fashion and marketing company in London, is one of 13 hopefuls in the Miss Scotland final this year.

She said: “I’m a bit overwhelmed. I’m still like ‘what’s going on?’

“After they filtered the online applications you had to for an interview in Glasgow.

“After that the girls all went to a photoshoot. Then we were told we would find out if we made the final, but it was a surprise that everyone there was in the final.

“So it started there and then.

We did a photoshoot and we went to Ayr races.’’