FOR the third year in a row, a Basingstoke beauty is vying for the honour of being crowned Miss England.

Popley-based beauty therapist and hairdresser, Nicola Ascroft, 23, advanced to the final of the pageant after impressing the judges in a semi-final in Newark, Nottinghamshire, on Sunday, June 4.

Miss Ascroft will now compete against 49 other women who have won regional titles, all vying to take the title of Miss England.

Since starting competing in the pageants Miss Ascroft has committed herself to the fundraising side of the competition.

Over the past two years, she has raised more than £17,000 for the charity Beauty with a Purpose which is backed by both the Miss England and the Miss World contests.

For the second consecutive year, the 23-year-old was the highest fundraiser in England and so won a place in the Miss England final as Miss Charity.

The beauty therapist raised nearly £5,000 by holding a series of charity events in her and her mum’s beauty salon in Chineham.

Miss Ascroft said: “I would just like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you. Without your continuous support and generous donations, this dream would not have been able to become a reality.

“Winning this title again really is one of the best feelings in the world – being recognised and awarded for all of my hard work, passion and determination.”

On the night of the semifinals, organisers presented some of the funds raised to the Shivam Nathwani Wheelchair fund, in aid of a 10-year-old boy who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy – a muscle-wasting disease – and needs a new wheelchair.

National director of the Miss England competition, Angie Beasley, said: “The competition is about being beautiful inside and out. We are not just looking for a pretty face.”

The final will take place at the Vox Conference Centre in Resorts World Birmingham from July 12 to 14.