The 11-year-old from Sunderland who is hoping to be a beauty queen

A Sunderland youngster is hoping to be crowned Miss Teen Great Britain when she takes part in the major pageant this weekend.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 7:05 am
Ella-Mai Whittle is a finalist in Miss Teen Great Britain.

Ella-Mai Whittle, 11, is due to strut her stuff for judges when she takes part in the Little Miss category of the competition at The Globe Theatre in Blackpool on Sunday, October 20.

It will be the first pageant the talented youngster has taken part in, having gained a love of the limelight from a young age through performing with Sunderland's Inspire Stage School.

Mum Leonie Hunter, from Witherwack, entered her daughter into the pageant earlier this year by submitting photos and an application to judges.

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Ella-Mai Whittle with mum Leonie Hunter.

Ella-Mai, a year 7 pupil at Castle View Academy, then made it through to the semi-final round which saw her answer a questions about herself and what it would mean to win.

Her answers impressed judges and now she will meet them face-to-face in the final of the competition where she will represent the tile of Little Miss Teen Sunderland.

It will see her take part in an interview and then model an evening gown and a fashion outfit in the hope of winning the crown.

Mum Leonie, 28, said: “It will be lovely for her and a really nice experience.

Ella-Mai with Inspire Stage School teacher Mrs Waites.

“She has went along to a couple of charity pageants to support other girls and get an insight into what it will be like.

”She loved it and enjoyed everything about it.

“She is so excited and will make friends for life.”

In the run up to the final Ella-Mai has raised £501 for charity, Together For Short Lives, which supports families of children with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses.

Ella-Mai is hoping to win the title of Little Miss Teen Great Britain.

Funds have been raised through sponsored walks, exercise classes and local businesses.

Ella-Mai has also been sponsored £350 by a business to cover the entry cost for taking part.

Travel costs and outfits have been paid for by her family, but mum Leoni stressed that taking part doesn’t have to be costly.

Leonie said: “It doesn’t have to be expensive as the judges say they are not judging on price tags.

“That’s great because a lot of people out there may want to take part but haven’t got much money."