A model from Hartlepool has raised thousands for charity as she looks forward to the final of a national competition later this year.
Aimée Whitton, 19, took part in her first pageant, Miss British Isles, back in 2019.
Although she didn’t win, she says it gave her the “bug” to keep going – and last year she was crowned Top Model of Durham.
It means she will be taking part in the Supermodel England 2022 finals in November.
She continued: "Modelling was something I looked as just for fun. I never thought I’d be able to make a career out if it. It’s now my full time job.
"I’m very proud to be from Hartlepool and having a title that was within the North East made me feel so at home. It made me feel proud to represent my community and to put a face to my community.
"If I win the crown in November, it won’t be a crown just for me. It will be a crown for the whole of the North East.”
Aimée, whose dad Rob Whitton, 58, used to be a model and won Mr North East in 1986, says he was part of the inspiration behind her entering the Top Model North East contest – which crowns winners for the Top Model of Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle.
She said: "It was the whole thought of how nice it would be for me and my dad to have the same title.
"My whole family is very proud and I hope I’ll do the whole of Seaton Carew proud.”
Aimée has said having a title has given her a purpose and further motivation to do good in the community.
Since 2021, the model has raised almost £3,000 for charity and hosted a charity gala at the Staincliffe Hotel at the beginning of January.
The event was attended by nearly 100 people and raised over £920 for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice in Middlesbrough.
Aimée is now running a Valentine’s raffle in aid of the hospice and is hoping to raise more funds during an afternoon tea and fashion show at the Staincliffe Hotel on May 28.
She said: "I felt like being a part of pageants and beauty competitions, because it gives you a title, it gives you more opportunity to do good in the community.
"It gives me a purpose to get up, and go out and do good things in my community.”
Aimée, who studied Fashion and Textiles at the Northern School of Art, has added that she hopes to organise her own pageants in the future.
She said: "I’d like to host my own pageant. Pageants are so rewarding. I’d love to one day be able to give that experience to other girls.”
Raffle strips are available by messaging Aimée Whitton-Model on Facebook.