Disabled toddler models Tesco’s xmas clothesline
Alyssa is too young to have a Tesco’s Clubcard, she’s only 1, but after being picked to model for the supermarket’s festive F&F clothing range we guess her family now shop there all the time.
The little girl, who has Downs Syndrome, can be seen at stores up and down the country leading up to Christmas promoting the Christmas clothes.
Her parents, mum Meesha Willis, 31, and dad Steven, 31, admit they thought Alyssa’s future was bleak after she was diagnosed with the condition, but after Tesco asked if she could model for their seasonal clothesline the family say they were ‘overjoyed’.
A picture of the toddler in front of the campaign in-store went viral after mum and dad shared a photo of the huge poster they saw with their daughter on it in their local store in Newport, Wales on their Instagram account.
Speaking to Daily Mail Online, Meesha said: 'I can't believe she's a Christmas model as we never expected to have a daughter who's a model.
'We couldn't believe it and I nearly cried, it was very surprising.
'I had no idea she was going to be featured on this scale, as they don't initially tell you what the photos will be used for – all we knew was that this was for F&F.
'It was a little bit strange, as the photo shoot was back in August and she was dressed as Mrs Clause.
'However, we didn't think much of it and assumed we were only having a nice family day out.
'I remember waiting for Halloween to pass and hoping to see the photo being used on their Instagram page or something, as I didn't expect for her face to be in store.'
The parents heard the news on a day trip to Alton Towers with Alyssa and her two-year-old sister Aureya.
Meesha recalled: 'I saw the massive poster and I knew we had to see it right away.
'Alyssa couldn't stop smiling and was pointing to the poster while shouting, as I think she knew it was her.
'Aureya, her sister, kept shouting "Alyssa" over and over while staring at the poster.
'We've had friends and family across the UK sending us pictures of her in their local store and I think she's in quite a few now.'
The news was shared on Zebedee’s social media handle, which helps disabled people fulfil their ambitions of breaking into the fashion industry.
Zebedee’s senior booker, Sue Moore, captioned the image of Alyssa’s cheeky smile dressed as santa, saying: 'If you have had a rough day and need something to make you smile – take a look at this image of our Zebedee mini model Alyssa who has Down Syndrome, as she spotted a great big picture of herself in her local Tesco. This is why I love my job so much.'
The post received a string of messages from people falling in love with Alyssa.
One reply read: 'Excellent! Well done and so happy to see this. God bless her!'
Another said: 'What a lovely smile!!'
A third person wrote: 'What a truly joyful picture. Thanks for sharing.’
Meesha added: 'I can't put into words how proud I am.
'It's only her first modelling job, but she's got a few others [lined up] which we're waiting to hear back from.
'She's such a cheeky little girl and we're so pleased with how she's doing.
'We think she's perfect and has exceeded our expectations completely.'
For more information and support visit the Down’s Syndrome Association website.