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Bexleyheath’s next top model

The proud winners of Bexleyheath’s annual Model Tots to Teens competition were presented with their awards by the new Mayor of Bexley; Peter Reader at the Civic Office on Friday 14th July.

The competition now in its 29th year, searches for the South East’s most photogenic kids took place over May half term and is run by Nigel Barrett Photography. The eight winners aged 0 to 13 years-old received £5,000 worth of prizes with the top two being awarded modelling contracts with London’s Elisabeth Smith Model Agency. Iyla McCabe, age 6 months, and Macie Lovelock, Aged 8, will be given the opportunity to be considered for modelling jobs for TV, film and still photography. Elisabeth Smith Model Agency work with the likes of Marks and Spencer’s, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and Coca-Cola.

On receiving the award from Mayor Reader, Macie Lovelock from Belvedere, said: “I’m so excited that I won Model Tots to Teens. I love being in front of the camera and getting my photo taken, my mum calls me a poser! To be able to go to Elisabeth Smith Model Agency is going to be so much fun, I can’t wait.”

This year’s competition maintained a family tradition for one winner as Alfie Burton, from the boys 0-24 months’ category, was found to be the son of Kerri Burton who won Bexleyheath’s Model Tots 23 years ago. Kerri Burton, who brought her photo along with her to the prize giving, said: “It’s so surreal that Alfie has won –, it does feel like history repeating itself. My mum still talks about when I won, I was two and a half years old and was photographed in my buggy with a face full of chocolate!”

Peter Reader, Mayor of Bexley, said: “It’s great to see the community of Bexleyheath come together to celebrate children’s individuality. The spirit of the children really shone through on all the photos, I’m glad I can be a part of this annual tradition.”

Natalie Ajibade, Regional Marketing Manager at Broadway Shopping Centre, added: “Model Tots is always a successful event and the addition of the older categories meant that the competition could accommodate for the increase in interest from the community, but definitely made it harder to choose a winner!”

“Entrants from far and wide, including Maidstone, travelled to the Broadway Shopping Centre to join in the family fun this year. The participation and enthusiasm from all the local people in Bexleyheath never fails to amaze me.”

The prize giving ceremony at the Civic Office on Friday also saw Nigel Barret present a cheque to CLIC Sargent Children’s Charity for £1,504. During the competition, Nigel Barret Photography donated £1 for every entrant who was photographed.

On receiving the donation, Mairi Wilson, Fundraising Engagement Manager at CLIC Sargent, said: “When cancer strikes young lives we fight tirelessly so they can thrive not just survive after their cancer diagnosis. We rely entirely on donations to fund our vital work and so we can’t thank everyone at Broadway Shopping Centre, especially Nigel Barret, for this remarkable donation.”