A SHOREHAM family has taken the pageant world by storm since getting involved just over a year ago.
Ella Collins-Godden, 14, was the first to take part, as part of a bid to make a stand against bullies at her school.
Her brothers, Jude, nine, and Jake, five, quickly became involved, too, and now their house in Williams Road is packed with more than 50 crowns, medals, trophies, sashes, certificates and other prizes.
Mum Sara, 44, admits she was not too happy about Ella taking part in pageants at first.
“I was a child performer and model, so am fully aware of the negative side of the industry, and I was also very influenced by the negative media coverage of pageants, but it’s what Ella wanted to do, so, as responsible parents, we supported her ventures,” she explained.
“Since taking part in pageants, Ella has grown in confidence, made some wonderful friends and found a hidden talent.”
Ella had suffered from bullying and decided she wanted to make a stand by following her dreams and starting modelling.
She took part in a natural pageant in March last year and once the boys saw what was involved, they decided they wanted to give it a go as well.
Sara said: “There aren’t many boys that compete in pageants in the UK, but, Jude and Jake love it.”
To date, Ella has competed in more than 24 pageants, and the boys have taken part in 12.
Jude said: “The best part of taking part in pageants is seeing my friends.”
Ella has raised more than £1,500 for the charities associated with the pageant systems, with a little help from the boys.
She said: “The main charities I support are Follow Your Dreams, supporting children with learning disabilities, and BulliesOut.”
Ella’s fundraising has included running a mini pageant, triathlon and singathon, and her efforts have earned her the honour of being made an ambassador for the two charities.
She was recently awarded a Splash FM Courage Award for her charity work and overcoming bullying and has also decided to release a charity CD, which will be available to download in May.
Ella said: “I love singing, and want to be a singer when I’m older. Pageants have given me the confidence and forum to perform publicly.”
Jake has featured as a model in a children’s online catalogue and Jude has auditioned for two feature films. All three children have been signed by a top talent agency.
Following articles in several national newspapers, they have been offered the opportunity to feature in a documentary about boys in pageants.
The children’s success has led to success for Sara as well. She has since founded her own company, Sara’s Stars, which offers pageant coaching, compering and hosting, local pageants, modelling and event management.
She is planning the only all-male pageant for all ages in the UK, a Glamorous Granny pageant, one for mums and married women, dads and husbands, and the first transgender pageant in the UK.
Sara said: “I want to offer the opportunity to people who wouldn’t necessarily take part in your average pageant.
“I want to educate the media and public that pageants aren’t bad, they do not sexualise children, but offer the opportunity to develop confidence, personality and lifelong friendships.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or find Sara’s Stars on Facebook.