A CAMPAIGNING mum has landed her son a modelling contract with Marks & Spencer – the first using a child with Down’s syndrome.
Caroline White, 39, and husband Simon, 36, have two children, Seb, four, and Dominic, two.
It wasn’t until Seb was in her arms as a newborn baby that they were told he had Down’s syndrome.
Their life turned out to be no different to any other family, but Caroline became fed up with seeing only “normal” children in advertising campaigns, particularly when shopping for Seb’s school uniform.
So she posted on M&S’s Facebook page, telling the retail giant all about her wonderful little boy.
Caroline wrote: “Seb has striking, unusual features, charms the pants off everyone he meets and his little face is full of magic and mischief.
“So, here’s the thing. He also happens to have Down’s syndrome.
“My heartfelt plight is to get him ‘out there’ and get the message across that different isn’t any less wonderful – or even that different “I also think using him could help create a truly original, bold and memorable campaign, which would fit perfectly with M&S’s family values.”
The response from other Facebook users was massive and marketing bosses at the company got in touch with her. Seb, who started school this month and has previously modelled for JoJo Maman Bebe, has now done a photoshoot for M&S’s Christmas catalogue.
Seb’s grandparents, Michael and Christine Playle, of Parkstone Drive, Southend, are incredibly proud.
Mrs Playle, 66, said: “This will do wonders for her cause. She has always campaigned on this issue.
“Seb is a fantastic little boy, the light of our life. We don’t see his Down’s syndrome, he’s just Seb.”
Ex-Westcliff High School for Girls pupil Caroline, who now lives in Bath, said: “When Seb was born, I vividly remember seeing lots of ads with hundreds of beautifully perfect kids in them and it just added to my sense of isolation and difference.”
She said she hoped her son’s inclusion in the catalogue would help change attitudes towards Down’s syndrome.
She added: “The biggest thing I hope for is that someone will see that we lead a really typical family life.”