Great Yarmouth’s Neuza Vika has won Miss Universe Norfolk 2013, followed by Maisie Lake and Rebecca Richardson in third place.

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Twenty young women from across Norfolk came together to compete for a place in Miss Universe Great Britain last night at Dunston Hall Hotel, near Norwich.

The other winners were: Georgia King, Miss Charity and Miss Popularity, the public vote; Hannah Rose Bell, the Not in Vain Award; Yeliz Tacel, Miss Photogenic and Rebecca Richardson, Miss Congeniality.

The event was billed as not your typical pageant, with a massive emphasis on empowering the young women of Norfolk along with making a difference by raising money for charitable causes.

During last night’s first round, the young women all wore bracelets in tribute to 23-year-old Olga Demina, from Old Catton, who had been due to enter the pageant but died of cancer in August last year.

Finalists were scored by a panel of judges during an interview round, casual wear round, swimwear round and eveningwear round.

The judges included British heavyweight boxer Sam Sexton, comedian Ava Vidal, Miss Universe Great Britain 2011 Chloe Beth Morgan and Holly Hale, Miss Universe Great Britain 2012, along with Harry Singha, chairman of Youth Leadership Academy Global.

Louise Harris, regional director of Miss Universe Norfolk, said: “The evening was a big celebration of what all the women have achieved in the run up to the final. They spent four months taking part in self-development events including interview training, walking barefoot over hot coals and breaking one inch wooden boards, to increase confidence and self-belief. They have also raised nearly £2,500 for the Hemraj Goyal Foundation which supports the children’s charity Strongbones. And some will be taking part in the One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women later this month.”

The winner and runners-up, winner of the public vote and entrant who raised the most money for charity, will go forward to the Miss Universe Great Britain final in Birmingham in June, and the winner of that will represent the UK at Donald Trump’s Miss Universe.

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