24-year-old Gemma Gordon is in the running to represent Great Britain at the Miss Universe pageant. Gemma is an Actress and Consultant for the NHS and will be one of around 40 women taking part in the 2019 Miss Universe Great Britain competition in South Wales on Saturday 13 July.
Gemma now lives in London but grew up in Berkhamsted where her father was vicar of St Mary’s Northchurch and her mother a piano teacher. She attended Bridgewater School and Ashlyns School and throughout her teens and early twenties worked locally at The Alford Arms in Frithsden. Her parents still live in the family home in Northchurch, though her father is now a Canon with his own chair in St Albans cathedral.
After graduating from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts & ALRA. She has toured with Drama Impact, is a regular on the ‘Dark Ditties’ series shown on Amazon Prime, and has just been cast in the WWII series K-LINES shooting this summer, as well as several short films, and commercial work.
Not the Ordinary Beauty Contestant
Gemma is far from being the usual image-obsessed actress and beauty pageant contestant. She wears little make-up and stands firmly against the practice of photo airbrushing. She now works in NHS recruitment, placing mental health consultants across the UK. She cycles about three miles to work every day. Gemma is also the new Face of Cetuem, an ethically-run British cosmetics company, suppliers of natural skin, hair and nail products.
Gemma’s grew up in a modest, humble but very loving family, which gave her a solid grounding and a strong work ethic. Wherever her father was relocated to, he worked closely with the homeless, so Gemma learned the value of charitable giving from a young age. She is now partnered with Centrepoint to encourage young women to seek help, and find a safe place off the streets and also develop a strong and healthy emotional way of life.
In the run-up to Miss Universe Great Britain, she will be tasked with a series of challenges and fundraising for A-Sisterhood – an organisation which supports the advancement of women worldwide. This year, monies from the fundraising will be donated to Llamau, a homeless charity in Wales which runs special projects to help homeless women; the National Centre for Female Genital Mutilation which aims to put an end to the practice by 2030; Stop Acid Attacks in India which helps survivors of acid violence; and The Black Mambas which is South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit protecting the rhino. A donation will also be made by A-Sisterhood to a female cause chosen and supported by the 2019 titleholder.
You can help Gemma’s fundraising efforts by visiting her JustGiving page.
Bring a Bra Ball
The eve of the final will see a Bring A Bra Ball organised for A-Sisterhood with finalists and their guests donating bras which will be sent to women in Africa in association with Smalls for All. Other events taking place from 11 July are an empowerment day led by one of the UK’s foremost leadership coaches and a catwalk show before a panel of judges from the beauty and fashion industry. The event is sponsored by Cara Jewellers, Just Boutique and Doyen.
Gemma said: ‘I am really excited to have been chosen as a finalist for Miss Universe Great Britain this year and will be doing all that I can in the next few months to prepare. Miss Universe is one of the biggest pageants in the world and I think it’s going to be a huge adventure as well as a lot of fun.’
Awards for Finalists
The Miss Universe Great Britain operates a NOT IN VAIN campaign as part of the competition which acknowledges the efforts and calibre of finalists. Under this banner, four awards will be presented to finalists. They are an award for the finalist who raises the most for charity through the experience presented by A-Sisterhood; an award for the most inspiring finalist who shows dedication to empowering young women presented by the Miss Universe Great Britain national director; a Miss Universe Great Britain business bursary offering high-level business coaching by Elsby & Co Chartered Accountants in Northamptonshire to a finalist who is an accomplished or aspiring entrepreneur; and a HER Leadership Award, sponsored by EntreprenHER Productions, which will give a finalist the opportunity to develop and deliver her own workshop to a girls’ school in rural India.
As well as getting the opportunity to represent the UK for around three weeks at an exotic overseas location later this year at Miss Universe, the winner of Miss Universe Great Britain will also visit travel on humanitarian projects linked to A-Sisterhood.
National director of Miss Universe Great Britain, Paula Abbandonato, said: ‘Pageantry in the UK is more popular than ever before and we have the most amazing line-up of young women from England, Scotland and Wales vying for the crown this year. It’s going to be an excellent competition and I wish them all the very best of luck.’
Around 90 countries take part in the Miss Universe event. The dates and location for 2019 have yet to be announced.
The current Miss Universe Great Britain is 25-year-old Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers, a barrister and former Commonwealth Games athlete from Birmingham. The current Miss Universe is Catriona Gray from The Philippines.