A schoolgirl who was runner-up in the finals of a national modelling competition has used the opportunity to raise nearly £800 in memory of a friend who died from a brain tumour.

Ellie Weaver, a pupil at The Barclay School in Stevenage, was runner-up in the final in the commercial category of Top Model UK – a professional model search competition.

The 14-year-old, who lives on Walkern Road in the town, has also raised £780 for Children with Cancer UK – a charity the competition is supporting this year.

Ellie said: “I have wanted to be a model for a long time – since I was a little girl – and I also want to help children who are sick.

“The charity is very close to my heart as a friend of mine died from a brain tumour three years ago.”

Mum Jacquie said: “We are sure Luca, her friend who died, would be very proud. It made it very special to raise this amount, and we would like to thank everyone who donated.”

She added: “Ellie came runner-up in the commercial category – 4,000 people applied for it this year, so we are very proud of her.

“The director of the show said Ellie is a natural and will go far with her confidence and enthusiasm.”

Ellie had previously tried to get work with a modelling agency, but had been told she was too young and was recommended this competition instead.

You can still support Ellie and Children with Cancer UK by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ellie.weaver1.

Established in 2006, Top Model UK is a leading professional model search competition with a track record of discovering new talent and in helping models develop their careers.