A PENARTH hairdressing apprentice is preparing to walk over hot coals in a bid to be crowned Miss Wales.

Teenager Zoe Hodgkinson will face the unusual team and confidence building challenge as she lines up alongside up to 60 others vying for the prestigious title.

Zoe is also raising money for the Cardiff-based Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre and is appealing to kind-hearted businesses and individuals to donate raffle prizes for a charity event she has organised for next month.

The charity provides specialist physiotherapy, occupational, speech and language therapy to children from Wales with cerebral palsy.

Zoe, a second year apprentice junior stylist with Lazarou Bros, in Penarth and day-release student at Cardiff & Vale College, has been able to enter the contest thanks to the support of businessmen Simon Llewellyn, of Hot Diggidy Dog, and Carl Michael, of FitM8 Gym, Park Crescent, Barry.

Zoe previously raised funds for Cancer Research UK by taking part in last year’s Cardiff Half Marathon and is a former member of Anita’s Theatre School.

Zoe, 17, said she had been encouraged to enter after completing a photo shoot.

She said: “I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve always wanted to do some modelling. I just thought I would have some confidence. I never had any until I went to Anita’s Theatre School and I’m looking forward to the empowerment day because we have to walk on hot coals.

“It’s just the whole experience really and to be able to say I’ve done it.”

Zoe will spring from the empowerment day, to the charity ball before the grand final, at an as yet undisclosed venue on April 26.

Before that she will endeavour to raise as much money as she can for the contest’s chosen charity Bobath.

Barry band Back To November will play at the Cadoxton Cons Club, Barry, from 7.30pm to late with Jordan Harrison DJing.

Zoe and her family will also be holding a raffle – which includes a signed boxing glove from Lee Selby.

Tickets for the event cost £4 and can be obtained by emailing zoe_hodge@hotmail.co.uk or calling 07743 192609.