In her teenage years she found notoriety as the schoolgirl girlfriend of Rolling Stone Bill Wyman. Mandy Smith was just 13 when they began dating, 18 when they married and barely in her twenties the communion of the Church in preparing a child they divorced.
But the former wild child has found God – and says He is calling her to use her experiences to help young girls who covet a similar lifestyle. Now a 39-year-old single mother and devout Roman Catholic who is working with the Church, she said in an interview: ‘I think the younger generation are missing out on a good set of values. Sometimes I drive through the city on a Saturday night and see young girls wearing hardly any clothes on their way to a nightclub, while others are being sick on the pavement from binge drinking. I would never judge another person but I can identify with them. Many of these girls have no proper older role models.
They take their values from some rubbish TV show or wannabe celebrities. Miss Smith has been teaching youngsters preparing for their first Holy Communion, working for several charities and mentoring teenagers preparing for their GCSEs. She said she didn’t want young women to make the same mistakes she did. Young people need to learn better values and realise they don’t need to fall out of pubs and clubs drunk, or for girls to throw themselves at boys, she added.
I used to feel terribly guilty about the life I had left and felt there was no hope for me,’ Miss Smith said. One day I received a letter from one of my old teachers, an amazing nun, who told me Jesus does not look at the mistakes I have made or the times I ignored him. Returning to my Catholic faith has been so wonderful. I love being involved in my parish. She does not know if the 15 and 16-year- olds she has been mentoring as they prepare for exams are aware of her past.
But she said she would be happy to draw on it to offer them advice if they need it. She told the Mail: ‘I would never bully them into education, but I think it’s important to give young people-some focus. I’ve experienced most things in my life, from every angle, and it doesn’t make you any happier, nothing material makes you a better person. If I can help young kids now in some way, shape or form as they move forward then that’s great.