A HAGLEY teenager is in the running to take the top title in a beauty pageant.

Grace Rhodes, aged 17, is representing Birmingham in the teenage category of the national Beauty Queen of the Year competition.

The former Haybridge High School pupil is currently preparing for the final, which will take place in September.

In the run up to the pageant, she must raise funds for Freshfields Animal Rescue, based in Liverpool and make various public appearances.

So far, she has organised a bake sale and appeared at school fetes, donated clothes to clothes to Stourbridge charity shops and plans to sing for care home residents.

Grace, who is studying dance at Birmingham Ormiston Academy, started getting involved in beauty pageants after been approached at the Clothes Show in Birmingham a few years ago.

She said: "Since then the reason I have continued was because they help with self confidence and give vital life experience. Every new one I get involved with I meet amazing friends that last a lifetime from all over the UK."

The teen also represented Stourbridge in the Miss Teen Great Britain Pageant last year.

She said of the latest pageant: "I feel proud and honoured to represent such a big city, however it would not of been possible without representing Stourbridge last year, doing that then gave me the drive to continue to do more."

If successful at the two day pageant in Manchester, where she will be asked to strut her stuff in swimwear, evening wear and a dress she must create out of recyclable materials, Grace will travel to Fiji to compete against finalists from around the world.