While many of us struggled through lockdown for various reasons, little Eleanor Manton who is two and from Leamington Spa in Warwickshire thrived. Having both Mum and Dad at home during Lockdown giving the two-year-old constant stimulation and interaction throughout the day meant that she has progressed dramatically.

After a video of Eleanor taking her first unaided steps went viral with thousands of likes, the children’s clothing retailer got in contact with Mrs Manton.

Model in the Making

Screaming and jumping for joy” was the reaction of Mrs Manton when she was first approached by Jojo Maman Bebe. After Eleanor’s photoshoots had to be cancelled due to the length of lockdown, the children’s clothing company sent the family some clothes for the two-year-old and Mrs Manton has been spending a few days showing off her photography skills to get snaps of her wearing the garments. Dad Craig Manton, 40, also got involved as ‘chief smile co-ordinator’ by doing silly dances behind the camera to help keep the laughs and smiles coming. These images are in the current Autumn/Winter 2020 catalogue.

Mrs Manton hopes more retailers follow in the footsteps of Jojo Maman Bebe saying:

“If children like Eleanor are seen in the fashion industry, it’s going to keep raising awareness… and when people see children like Eleanor it’s not a shock to them,”

Little Eleanor also recognises herself in the images of the catalogue and gets excited saying “that’s me”.

Not Just a One-Off

Jojo Maman Bebe has given opportunities to others with disabilities. In 2019, a toddler with Spinal Muscular Atrophy was invited to model their latest range, Sophia struggles to walk and the company happily included her wheelchair in the shoot resulting in a photoshoot to remember!

Back in 2012, Natty, another little girl with Down’s Syndrome was included in the Christmas catalogue where one of her images featured on their Facebook banner.

A JoJo Maman Bébé spokesman said: “Helen takes great pictures and Eleanor is beautiful so we got in touch to see if they would like to take part in the campaign.

Their photos are amazing, just what we were looking for, it looks like they had a lot of fun.”

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