A beauty queen says “it’s not just about a crown and a sash anymore”, as she prepares to compete in the final of a national beauty pageant.

Lizzie Syprou, who lives in Finchley and is a former pupil of Aldenham School, currently holds the title of Miss Amersham 2017.

But now, she is competing for the title of Miss Home Counties on April 22, against over 40 other contestants.

Miss Syprou admitted: “I’m nervous, but in a good way. I think its important to be nervous because it shows it means something to you.

“This is something I have worked towards for the last five years and it’s not just about winning a crown and sash anymore, it’s about what I can use the title for now.

“The reason I started in the first place was to gain confidence, I had really bad anxiety.

“The pageants have really helped build up my confidence and I hope to use the title to encourage people to get out there and do the same thing.”

After competing in pageants for the past five years, Miss Syprou has raised over £5,000 for charity and intends to raise more.

This year, the fervent fundraiser has raised over £100 for the charity sponsored by the pageant, Beauty with a Purpose, in aid of disadvantage children around the world, through the likes of Christmas dinners and cake sales.

Miss Spyrou will also be abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford this weekend to help boost fundraising for the cause, as well as preparing to trek the Great Wall of China in October for the Mental Health Foundation.

She said: “I’m in good shape but it’s a much bigger challenge than I thought it would be, I’ve started dance classes to help.

“I just like to push myself and see how far I can go.”

The Miss England competition has always been Miss Spyrou’s ultimate goal, competing in 15 other pageants to reach it.

The finals of Miss England will be held in Cambridge in Anstey Hall on April 22.