Jade’s fundraiser brings Bollywood to Glengormley

Miss Bollywood NI fund-raiser in aid of Impact India, Shirley O'Neill, Jade O'Neill, Nelson Thomas-Raja and Jane-Ann Daniels. INNT 12-054-FP
Miss Bollywood NI fund-raiser in aid of Impact India, Shirley O'Neill, Jade O'Neill, Nelson Thomas-Raja and Jane-Ann Daniels. INNT 12-054-FP

A GLAMOROUS Glengormley girl has used her position as a finalist in the inaugural Miss Bollywood NI competition to raise hundreds of pounds for a charity which is aiming to build a rescue centre for abandoned babies in India.

Jade O’Neill, a final year Fashion Management degree student at Belfast Metropolitan College, recently won a public vote on Facebook to secure her place in the final of the Indian-inspired beauty pageant, which will take place at Belfast’s Ramada Hotel in May. The finalists will be competing for the chance to win a share of over £2,000 worth of prizes, including a potential modelling contract.

Sponsored by Style Academy, the Miss Bollywood NI competition was set up by Portadown couple Nelson and Janet Thomas-Raja in a bid to increase awareness of the work of Impact India and raise funds to help to set up an ‘Angel House’ in Bangalore to rescue unwanted babies and provide a safe haven for abused women.

Jade, a finalist in last year’s Miss Northern Ireland pageant, believes the Angel House project is a very worthy cause. And with the help of her mum Shirley and a few friends, she brought a little taste of Bollywood to Fluid bar and restaurant in Glengormley on Monday night (March 19).

Guests enjoyed a three-course Indian meal and took part in a prize draw, helping to raise almost £400 for the work of Impact India and the Angel House project.

“It really is sad to see that some people are throwing their children out on the streets just because they are girls or have their babies aborted because they’re girls. It’s absolutely awful,” Jade told the Times.

Also keen to support good causes closer to home, the big-hearted 21-year-old is currently in training to run the Belfast City Marathon on May 7 in support of the Children’s Hospice in Glengormley.

The Glencroft girl, who dreams of one day owning her own fashion label, recently returned from London after working for Bordelle for six months, during which time she gained experience helping to design and make lingerie for celebrity clients such as Kelly Rowland and Rihanna.

During her time in London she also took acting classes which recently saw her land a part as an ‘extra’ in Keith Lemon: The Movie, which features stars such as Verne Troyer and Kelly Brook.

Jade was selected from the cast of extras to film a full scene, but doesn’t yet know if she’s made the final cut.

“It was absolutely brilliant. I got to meet Keith himself (Leigh Francis) - he’s completely mad - and Kelly Brook was there and Holly Willoughby and Mini Me (Verne Troyer). It was a great experience, but I won’t know if the scene’s made the film until I see it in the cinema,” she said.

Meanwhile, Miss Bollywood NI isn’t the only beauty contest crown that Jade has her sights set on.

She travelled to Newry on Thursday, March 15 to take part in the latest heat of the Miss Ireland contest, winning a place in the final of the Miss Down and Armagh heat at the end of the month and a shot at making the grand final of Miss Ireland in Dundalk later in the year. She’ll also be representing Newtownabbey in the final of the Miss Earth competition - the beauty contest which encourages contestants to promote awareness of environmental issues - which will take place in London in September.

For more information about the work of Impact India log on to www.impact-india.org