A woman from Wandsworth has made it to the semi-finals of Miss England.

Paige Ashton, 26, is competing for the title of ‘Miss Popularity” in the national beauty pageant in May.   

The Sales Operations Advisor at a Technology company is taking part in the contest to raise money for Beauty with a Purpose – a charity that helps disadvantaged children while raising awareness about mental health.

Paige won a place in the Miss Popularity heat after receiving 48% of votes on the competition’s app as a contestant in the “Miss All African Colours” round in February.

The 26-year-old said: “Raising money for children has always been close to my heart, having raised a substantial amount for The Prince's Trust previously”.

“I realised that mental health becomes a topic as we get older when actually we should be given the tools and understanding of it from a younger age”.

Your Local Guardian: Paige Ashton, 26, is raising awareness for mental health charities Paige Ashton, 26, is raising awareness for mental health charities

Over the winter lockdown, she was able to raise over £1,200 for Mind in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster (BWW) through an exercise challenge.

Paige used social media to post about mental health and took courses to further understand such conditions.

The beauty queen also opened up about her own experiences using mental health services. 

“Through Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) I have learnt to turn around negative thoughts and appreciate myself more. Whilst at the time it was a struggle to go through and I felt embarrassed, it has changed my perception, outlook and behaviour making me return to the person I was before and more.

The Miss Popularity heat is taking place on May 22 in Leicester at the Miss England HQ and is one of the final heats before the Miss England final on June 24.

The target for her charity fundraiser is £500 with a link here. 

To find out more about Mind in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster visit www.bwwmind.org.uk