Free ballgowns from Blackpool Care and Share to ease cost of school prom season

For many modern teenagers, prom night is the most hotly anticipated night of the school year.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 7:29 am

A special reward for the hard work put into their final GCSE exams, midnight black suits and ties and glittering ballgowns are the expected attire at the parties, which began in America and are now enjoyed by around 85 per cent of British schools.

But with most top boutiques charging hundreds of pounds for a prom dress - on top of the cost of hair styling and make-up - some Fylde coast families may find themselves struggling to foot the bill for what can turn out to be one of the most expensive events of their daughter’s teenage years.

Luckily, help is at hand for those in need.

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Linda McEvilly of Blackpool outreach group Care and Share is giving out free prom dresses to girls whose parents can't afford the extravagant prices this year. Picture by Martin Bostock

Blackpool outreach group Care and Share is offering to lend prom dresses to girls whose parents cannot afford the extravagant prices seen in most shops.

Group founder Linda McEvilly said: “I have met several families that couldn’t afford a dress fot heir daughters. These prom dresses can be hundreds of pounds and they can’t afford it. I did meet a lady with twin girls who was broken-hearted because she couldn’t afford anything, and that was the start of it.

“The rich kids get Cinderella coaches and limousines and the poor kids get nothing. It’s so wrong.

“It costs such a lot for the nails, hair and makeup without having to go to the expense of a dress that they are only going to wear once.”

The prom dresses can be picked up or tried at Care and Share, at 5 Tarnside, Mereside, on Saturdays at noon.

The dresses, which range in sizes from six to 18, can be borrowed on a £5 deposit, which will be given back when the dress is returned.

Linda said: “We ended up lending 26 dresses last year, and we didn’t start until late June, so we didn’t have much time.

“We’re also hoping to be able to put some evening shoes out as well - so if anyone wants to donate some, they can always drop them off at Tarnside!”