Things are blooming for student Claire

Claire Ashton is a finalist for Miss Wigan
Claire Ashton is a finalist for Miss Wigan

WIGAN student Claire Ashton is hoping to make her classmates proud and be crowned Miss Wigan 2011.

The teenager, from Hindley Green, who studies with the education charity, Rathbone, wants to prove to the borough that you can have it all, beauty and brains.

Claire, 17, a keen gardener, is currently transforming her child-minding mum’s garden into an area for children to learn and grow while also gaining the appropriate qualifications to go back to college in September and study accountancy.

Claire said: “It’s very exciting to be in the final of Miss Wigan especially as I’ve never entered a competition like this before.

“I want to prove to everybody that I’m smart – and not just a pretty face!”

And throughout Claire’s campaign for the crown she will be raising funds for the Variety Club. She also hopes to be following in the footsteps of her sister, Hazel, 19 who is a successful model.

Audra Nichols, spokesman for Rathbone Wigan said: “Whatever Claire tackles, whether it be her studies or doing the garden, she comes up smelling of roses. I am sure she is going to raise plenty of money for charities and give all the other contestants in the Miss Wigan competition a run for their money.”

The former Wigan and Leigh College student joined Rathbone after struggling on a child care course. Not enjoying the paperwork, she took up a friend’s recommendation to go to Rathbone and learn something practical instead.

Miss Wigan 2011 is open to any single girl who will be aged between 17 to 24 on December 31 who was either born, has lived, works or studies in the Wigan area.