Heather Gaulton, 26, from Sale, has been crowned Miss Cheshire at the final of the Miss Manchester ceremony, and will be representing the region at the Miss England finals on the 27th August. Heather is one of 46 women competing for the Miss England title, with the winner going on to compete in Miss World.

Heather, who has lived in Sale her entire life, is the Marketing Content and Campaign Manager for Trafford Leisure, based out of their Altrincham office. She says: “I’m still in disbelief. Never in a million years did I expect this to happen to me. I’m so proud to be representing the region that I adore. I love where I live and work, and am honoured to call this region my home. More than that, I want to represent women and be a positive role model for girls and young women. Miss England is a huge platform to promote women supporting women.”

Heather also picked up winning awards for Miss Beautiful Smile and Miss Eco Wear, and was in the top ten for every round at the Miss Manchester ceremony, held on the 22ndrd May.

A woman with red hair has never won Miss England, and Heather is keen to prove that being a red-head is beautiful. Heather says: “I know how hard it can be growing up with red hair. People can bully you and make you feel different and wrong. Young girls shouldn’t want to change who they are because they are different, and if someone with red hair were to win Miss England it would demonstrate to the younger generation that you are beautiful just by being yourself.”

Heather will also be competing in the Sports round at Miss England, which is a physical sports competition lead by Royal Marine Commando and Go Commando Bootcamp. Heather says: “Physical activity is really important to me. I’ve worked for Trafford Leisure since I was 16, when I started as a lifeguard. I love supporting Trafford Leisure; helping them to encourage our community to move

more every day. My work allows me to help people of all ages to understand the physical and mental benefits of exercise. I really enjoyed working on the launch of move Urmston. It’s an amazing facility with brilliant classes and I enjoy working out there whilst I train for the Miss England Sports Challenge.”

Since being scouted for Miss Manchester on a night out, Heather has gone from strength to strength. “My initial response to being scouted was that pageant wasn’t really for me. However, I soon learnt that Miss England is much more than a beauty pageant. The competition has many components and we have to demonstrate our interests, ambition, personality and beliefs. There are no restrictions for entries, all women are welcome. For me this is all about girl power, body positivity and being real women.

“The competition has really helped me grow so much; my self-confidence and belief in my value and worth has soared, I’ve even started my own business part time as a personal trainer in a female-only boutique gym. Miss England celebrates the achievements of women and we are looking for a positive role model to inspire others. Miss England is so much more than a beauty contest.”

A big part of the Miss England competition is using the platform to fundraise and to raise awareness. Heather will be fundraising for ‘Beauty with a Purpose’, a charity which helps disadvantaged children across the world.

Heather is also planning to host charity fitness classes for young and vulnerable women. Heather says: “During the lockdowns, I supported the charity Elle for Elle and learnt about how domestic abuse has risen during the pandemic. I want to be able to support abused women through physical activity, to help them to grow in confidence and to feel more in control of their lives.”