AN OXFORD Brookes student has been named the new Miss Oxfordshire, and has her eyes set on the Miss England title.

Alex Evangelou, a second year social work student, is now preparing for the finals of Miss England, which take place next April.

While such beauty pageants are associated with bikinis and a bygone era, time has moved on and so have the contests.

Miss Evangelou, 24, is a campaigner against domestic abuse and has been involved in raising awareness of environmental problems.

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She said: “It’s not a beauty competition anymore, it’s about helping the community and representing people in the county.”

Since returning to university at the beginning of the month, Miss Evangelou has been busy adjusting to her new platform.

“I’m still getting used to it, I’ve contacted women’s refuge centres and stores that are reopening, and tried to get myself out there,” she said.

“Because of Covid, a lot of small businesses have struggled but by using this new platform, I can help out.

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“I’m also trying to find a charity to work with in Oxfordshire.

“My whole thing is domestic abuse, something I can use my trainee social work experience to help out with.”

Earlier this year, Miss Evangelou, born and bred in Birmingham, had applied to be the Miss Midlands.

Rather than giving up, she instead applied for the Miss South West title, as she was based in Swindon at the time.

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Due to there already being a Miss Wiltshire, Miss Evangelou was instead awarded the Miss Oxfordshire title.

She first applied for Miss England competitions back in 2018 after seeing an advert for it on Facebook.

She said: “I thought I’d try it and then I became a finalist in Miss Birmingham.

“While competing, I found it was more than just a competition, it was a platform to have your voice heard and create changes.”

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Fresh from finishing her first year at university, Miss Evangelou described Oxford Brookes as the ideal university for her.

“Oxford Brookes was the perfect location for me, not too far from Birmingham, and it’s a beautiful city,” she said.

“The university offered an amazing social work degree where the student to lecturer satisfaction was 100 per cent.

“I absolutely love my course, I find it so interesting but also challenging. I have never really found my purpose but after my previous experience in a domestic relationship I now know I want to help others. I want to support them and be there for them.”

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Miss Evangelou’s charity work includes working with Elle for Elle, a domestic abuse charity, while she is also an ambassador for We Do Ethical, an organisation which oversees tree planting projects.

Aged 20, Miss Evangelou endured a ‘toxic relationship’ where what she wore was controlled and she was stopped from seeing friends and family.

That experience prompted her to get involved in helping other victims.