Dominque off to teach needy Thai children

Dominique Harrison-Bentzen
Dominique Harrison-Bentzen
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She gave up the Miss Preston crown to pursue her dream career in fashion.

But less than three months later Dominique Harrison-Bentzen has changed course again, this time heading out to Thailand to teach English to under-privileged children.

The 23-year-old charity worker, who shot to national fame last year by raising more than £46,000 to help a down-and-out on the streets of Preston, has been accepted for a two-year post working with youngsters in poor rural areas near Bangkok.

“I’m so excited,” said Dominique, who travels out east at the end of the month. “Teaching is something I’ve always wanted to do.

“I’m passionate about volunteering and the chance to help children on the other side of the world, where education is so limited, was something I just couldn’t turn down.”

Dominque, from Leyland, first entered the spotlight after a man sleeping rough gave her his last £3 to get a taxi home late at night when she had lost her purse.

The story went viral when she launched an appeal to help the man get off the streets. Cash rolled in and the fund raised more than £46,000, which also went to help other homeless people in the city.

“When I handed over the Miss Preston title it was really upsetting. But I had been really lucky to land a fantastic graduate job in the fashion industry,” she said.

“But when I saw this opportunity I thought ‘you’re only young once’ and I decided to give it a go. It’s something that probably won’t come round again and so I’ve decided to grasp it while I can.

“I think it’s going to be a really rewarding two years.”