The Mr & Miss West Indies UK Pageant will welcome 30 men and women from throughout the United Kingdom for their second annual Mr & Miss West Indies UK Pageant.

This year’s contestants are supporting West Indies citizens impacted by Hurricane Irma, which slammed the Caribbean at the start of September with 155 mile per hour winds.

Founded by Fiona Hewitt, the foundation aims to unify West Indian heritages throughout the UK and the broader diaspora. The pageant, which debuted in 2016 and will take place on Saturday, October 8 in The Grand Selby Marquee, is also the winner of a Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts award (BEFFTA) for Best Beauty Pageant.

Under strict guidelines and across a range of disciplines, each contestant is given tasks to research the island they will be representing. They will then present their findings, and judged according to the criteria set by the pageant rules.

The king and queen receive a crown and a trip back to the Island of their heritage, which they represented.

“The Mr & Miss West Indies UK pageant is more than just a pageant, we have created a pageant with a purpose, for us it is all about community involvement,” says Fiona. “The pageant’s objective is to reconnect the contestants with their heritage and culture, as well as giving them an excellent opportunity to be ambassadors in their own right.”

Crowned and titled winners will carry the king and queen status for one year, promoting good causes and charities both in the UK and in their home Islands.

To assist in the hurricane relief effort, the Mr & Miss West Indies UK Pageant contestants are using their mandatory community service projects to raise funding for their respective causes. One pound from each project admission has been designated to be sent to the official commission’s hurricane relief fund.

“It is times like these when we need to unite as a people and live up to our motto of being a pageant with a purpose,” says Fiona. “I am proud to see all of our representatives stepping in to bring much-needed aid to their home Islands. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the people who were affected by these terrible storms.”

Aside from the Mr & Miss West Indies UK titles, contestants also have a chance to win across a range of categories, such as Most Photogenic, Traditional/Cultural Performance and more.

Last year’s Mr & Miss West Indies UK King and Queen were Ken Coco, representing the Island of Guadalupe, and Janiel Mitchell, who represented the Island of Jamaica.

“Winning the Mr & Miss West Indies UK crown has been life-changing,” Ken reveals. “Since the pageant, I have had incredible opportunity to effect change in my home island and in the UK, through volunteering and community involvement.”

The event is taking place on Sunday, October 8 in The Grand Selby Marquee, Selby Centre, Selby Road, N17 8JL. Details: