Our fashion fundraiser was a true community effort

The Friends of Carswell School organised an event that showcased a sustainable fashion line and raised funds for the school

I’ve always thought models had an easy life, but when I tried it for myself, I discovered there’s more to it than just a swagger of the hips.

I wanted to explore some untried fundraising ideas for the Friends of Carswell School (FOCS) when Beth Fordham, a parent from the school, approached me with a proposition. She wanted to showcase the sustainable line from her new fashion business Frendo&Shack by running a clothing-based PTA fundraiser. We came up with the idea of organising a fashion show. Local brewery The Loose Cannon offered to host the event in its Tap Room to help boost business on weekdays, with all proceeds going to FOCS.

We invited parents and carers to model on the catwalk, and 11 brave souls stepped up, including me and the headteacher, Mr Crandon.

Frendo&Shack created three catwalk looks for each of the models. The first was bottle green (the Carswell School colour) with neon accents, the second was golden hues and the third was silver and blue. Each outfit was made from preloved clothing, which Frendo&Shack sources from charity shops, personal organisers and various online platforms.

Us models were extremely nervous before stepping out onto the Loose Cannon catwalk, but we had a blast! With a fantastic playlist to accompany us and the supportive community crowd cheering us on, we totally rocked it!

After the catwalk show, a colour consultant from local business Transform with Colour chatted with the audience about which shades work best for people with different colouring.

She asked for some volunteers and everyone got to learn more about their own unique colours.

We attracted more than 50 guests who paid £5 each for entry, making a total of £260 for FOCS. The event helped strengthen the relationship between teachers, parents and PTA members. It felt like a true community effort. We were delighted to have helped three local businesses – the Carswell School staff even decided to book the Loose Cannon for their Christmas party.


  • Hannah Bentley, PTA chair, Friends of Carswell School, Abingdon, Oxfordshire (250 pupils)