Beauty queen Bethany looks back on her year as Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest

Bethany Wigley, 18, claimed the prestigious title in March 2018.

A Mansfield beauty queen has handed over the reins as her time as Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest comes to an end.

Bethany spent a week getting to know the Miss Ohio finalists

Bethany spent a week getting to know the Miss Ohio finalists

Since she was crowned, Bethany has travelled to Mansfield, Ohio to fly the flag for Mansfield, UK, raised thousands of pounds for charity, and inspired many other girls to take part in the competition.

She said: "I'll never be able to explain the amazing, once in a lifetime trip to Ohio.

READ MORE: New Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest aims to be a positive role model

"I spent a week getting to know the Miss Ohio finalists, and it was just amazing getting to know the people and the culture."

Bethany has been accepted for a place at Birmingham City University

Bethany has been accepted for a place at Birmingham City University

Bethany took part in a parade alongside the finalists, and said the support shown for beauty pageants in the US is 'incredible'.

Since the former Samworth Academy student was crowned, she has managed to raise a staggering £9,011, which more to collect, for her nominated charity, Rethink Mental Illness - all while studying for her A-Levels.

READ MORE: Miss Mansfield goes stateside

"I set out goals when I won, which was a big surprise," Bethany added.

Bethany raised  a staggering 9,011 for Rethink Mental Illness

Bethany raised a staggering 9,011 for Rethink Mental Illness

"I wanted to let people know, especially younger people, that it's ok not to be ok.

"The message is don't let your mental health consume you, or for society to discriminate against mental health problems,"

Bethany has worked alongside schools in the area to get her message out to as many young people as she can, and promote mental health education.

READ MORE: Miss Mansfield teams up with schools for World Mental Health Day

Bethany took part in a 20 mile walk to raise money and awareness for Rethink Mental Illness

Bethany took part in a 20 mile walk to raise money and awareness for Rethink Mental Illness

For World Mental health Day on October 10, 15 schools took part in non uniform days, and raised a whopping £5032.15 for Rethink Mental Illness.

Bethany also ran a competition for schools to design a poster to show how they can look after their own and other people’s mental health.

The winner, Maja Szul from Ashfield School had her poster published on the side of Mansfield District Council’s refuse lorries for thousands of residents to see every week.

Bethany then took on a huge 20 mile walk around Mansfield and surrounding villages called 'Walky Talky', to promote the positive impact walking and getting outside can have on a persons mental health.

Bethany, who was studying for her A-levels in psychology, history and fine art, said that juggling her education and role as Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest was 'challenging', but she wouldn't change a thing.

"Balancing school, Miss Mansfield work and applying for university was difficult, but it was amazing.

"The sense of achievement just makes it all worth it.

"Some people think it's about walking around in a crown, but I was contacting businesses everyday, checking on my fundraising - I'm not complaining though, the whole experience was just amazing!

"It was lots of work and I was very busy, but I like a challenge."

What's next for Bethany?

Bethany has been accepted for a place at Birmingham City University to study forensic psychology in September.

She hopes to graduate and work as a forensic physiologist, which she says is what she has wanted to do from a young age.

Bethany has handed her crown over to 23-year-old referrals co-coordinator Amy Sherwood, who won Miss Mansfield 2019/20 on Friday, July 5.

"I interviewed Amy and she really stood out - she was well presented and had a good charity that is close to her heart", said Bethany.

"We met in rehearsals, and she was very natural and just herself.

"This year was a very tough year, all the finalists did really well."

Bethany's Legacy

Bethany's legacy as Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest has left plenty of younger girls looking up to her - and Bethany has some inspiring advice for any young lady who aspires to be a beauty queen too.

"Just be yourself.

"This is a challenging industry, but don't compare yourself to others.

"Everyone can take part, you've got to prove it to yourself and just be you, and have a kind heart.

"This is more of an ambassador programme - this is a beauty pageant but it's about the beauty within you and what you can do for the community."

Melanie Harrison, Bethany's mum, said: "We are so very proud of Bethany and all she’s achieved.

"Bethany has worked so hard to raise awareness and funds for Rethink Mental Illness whilst being fully committed to carrying out appearances within the community and schools across Nottinghamshire.

"I really can’t put into words how proud we are, her drive, determination and professionalism has blow us away."

Bethany's Virgin Giving page is still open for any donations to Rethink mental Illness.

You can donate here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=BethanyWigley&pageUrl=1