Posted: Tue 16th May 2023

Saltney Barnardo’s supports Chester School’s innovative approach to prom

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

A pioneering approach to prom preparation has been adopted by Catholic High School, Chester, with an innovative ‘Vintage Occasionwear Evening.’

This initiative, supported notably by Barnardo’s in Saltney, aims to reduce costs and promote sustainability, providing an alternative to the often extravagant expense of prom season.

Maria Nordmann, Deputy Headteacher, launched the event after the school received hundreds of pounds worth of prom dresses and suits in donations from the local community, parents.

This collaborative effort allowed students to browse through an array of pre-loved attire, try items on, and pair their chosen outfits with matching accessories, all presented in a unique event in the school hall.

“The students really had a great evening,” said an overwhelmed Mrs Nordmann.

“They were all giving each other help and advice, and it was fantastic to see them find ‘the dress’. There were definitely a few tears!”

Prom night can come with a hefty price tag, often upward of £400, considering the cost of outfits, accessories, hair, makeup, and transport. “For many families, this is an expense they could do without,” Mrs Nordmann explained.

“Our opportunity to recycle people’s beloved dresses and suits for prom 2023 is a perfect way to take care of people’s pockets and the planet as well.”

Ray Mayers from Barnardo’s in Saltney received special thanks from the school for a significant donation of occasionwear following a shop closure.

Many of the donated items were brand new, still with tags, and several had only been worn once.

In the run-up to prom, the school is also offering additional support.

Chaplin Ana Gasparini will provide a free alteration service for students to tailor their outfits, and teachers with skills in hair, nails, and makeup will be offering their services for free on the event day.

“We really want to break the stigma of wearing clothes second hand,” Mrs Nordmann asserted.

“This is so beneficial to the environment and it really helps with our inclusion policy – everyone will go to the prom looking fabulous! We’ll make sure of that.”

Catholic High School Chester is planning to continue this sustainable initiative, with several dresses and suits earmarked for recycling for the current Year 10’s prom in 2024.

The school has also invited further donations, underlining its commitment to promoting sustainability and inclusivity in school events.

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