A St Neots mum has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Miss International Rose Elegance regional competition.

Janet Gatland, 43, has been chosen to represent America in the Miss International Rose competition being held at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Southport on October 7.

The mum-of-two was asked to take part in the modelling competition after her profile was spotted on a commercial job website.

She said: “I am a stay at home mum as I care for my two children, one of whom is disabled, so for this to happen to me is amazing.

“I was asked to apply through a website called Star Now, which gives you access to commercial jobs. I had a profile on there and then someone approached me asking if I wanted to apply and I thought 'why not?'”

The competition is the sister contest of the Miss English Rose, which has been running for 65 years.

There are a range of prizes for national finalists, including a free photo shoot, modelling contract and professional training.

As part of the contest, Janet will be judged in the evening gown and black tie dress category.

She said: “This is not a pageant, it is a modelling competition, which could really open some doors for me. I'm still in shock that I was asked to do it. I'm not a model by any means and it's just all so surreal.

“I only found out a week ago that I was a finalist, and this whole experience is just extraordinary.

“I would love to go onto nationals and represent my country and show women that it doesn't matter how old you are, you should have confidence in yourself and it would also be really great to gain some exposure.”

As part of the contest, Janet has to raise money for the charity 'Days out for Kidz' which provides days out for under privileged, disabled or unwell children

She said: “It's really important to me that I raise as much money as I can, one of my sons is disabled and the money that will be raised will go to a cause that will help people like him.”

To find out more about the charity visit www.daysoutforkidz.org.