MISS England hopeful Holly Finlay felt a whole lot better after finding out she'd made it into the semi finals of the competition from a hospital bed.

The 19-year-old university student from Amersham had been laid low with a kidney infection as the competition polls came to a close.

But she's now one step closer to the grand final after receiving a total of 487 votes in her heat of the Miss Fresh Photogenic category of the awards to qualify for the semi final stage.

Holly said: "I was in bed resting when I had a load of messages on my phone saying congratulations. It was great to be able to wake up and hear the news.

"My reaction was shock, as well as being happy. I'd won by public vote and judge's decision, which was really cool.

"I was in and out of hospital for about a month, which was a nightmare. I'm doing a sponsored swim for Refuge on March 25 and it's slowed down my training for that."

She added: "I'm really grateful to everyone that helped and it would be great for people to help me again."

The Miss England semi finals take place at Kelham Hall and Country Park in Nottinghamshire on May 19, where Holly and the other contestants will have the opportunity to model bridalwear.

Online voting for the semi finalists also starts in May. More details on how to vote will appear on the competition's website, www.missengland.info.

Meanwhile to sponsor Holly on her swim, in aid of victims of domestic violence, go to www.justgiving.co.uk/hollyjadefinlay.