A PROFESSIONAL mermaid is hoping to represent Lancashire in the Miss Mermaid UK pageant.

Qualified diver, Stacey Anderton, originally from Oswaldtwistle but now living in Clayton-le-Moors, says she is a role model for young girls who love mermaids.

Miss Anderton is in the running to become Miss Mermaid UK, a pageant for mermaids from the whole of the UK.

The mermaid is now part of Hire A Mermaid, where she is often paid to attend birthday parties for children.

Professional mermaids attend pool parties, performing tricks for children and also take part in water-based sports.

She said: “The children are amazed and always very curious and want to touch my tail which I just find adorable.

“They really do believe that I’m a real mermaid which makes me love my job even more.”

Speaking about her job, the 27-year-old said: “I just love mermaids, swimming and everything about the ocean.

“I would love to represent our county and hopefully become Miss Mermaid UK.

“I am also hoping it will boost my confidence.

“Another reason I would like to enter is because it is very different, and I believe we need more diversity as there is too much negativity in the world.”

As part of the competition, the professional mermaid is raising funds for her entry fees and for marine preservation.

She said: “This is very important to me as our seas are under immense pressure, too much rubbish is being thrown in and too many fish are being taken out and too little is being done about it.”

Miss Anderton joined a mermaid camp in June 2018 at the Viney Holiday Properties in Lydney, where she gained a diving qualification.

For the Miss Mermaid hopeful, it’s more than just swimming in tail.

She said: “It is something you have to train hard for and discipline yourself into holding your breath safely at certain depths.”

Miss Anderton also works as a receptionist at Studio Retail, an online shopping retailer.

The next stage of the pageant is in October, where Miss Anderton will take part in underwater photoshoot.