A BEAUTY pageant semi finalist from Amersham has smashed her fundraising target after swimming a mile for a domestic violence charity this week.

Holly Finlay took the plunge in aid of the Refuge charity on Tuesday, raising more than £1,500 after completing the swim in 37 minutes and 12 seconds.

Holly, who is in the semi finals of the Miss Fresh Photogenic category of the Miss England competition, had previously set a target of raising £1,000 and swimming the mile in 40 minutes.

The 19-year-old Film and TV Studies student at Regents University in London said: "I'm so happy at the outcome and I'm so grateful to all the people that have been so generous.

"I was thinking, 'I'm going to be sore in the morning', but I was actually OK. I was a bit surprised."

She added: "The two main domestic violence charities in the UK raise £12.5million and the Donkey Sanctuary raises £22.5million a year - it reflects how there's not enough awareness amongst young women. They don't realise what is abuse.

"I'd like to be able to help women stand up for themselves and lead an example."

Her Miss England semi final is on April 11.

To sponsor her for her swim, go to www.justgiving.com/HollyJadeFinlay.