The Wokingham Paper

You shall go to the ball! – Local charity launches project helping disadvantaged students celebrate their school proms in style.

Winnersh charity The Cowshed launches the initiative earlier this month.
Winnersh charity The Cowshed launched the initiative earlier this month.

A Berkshire charity which takes pride in providing clothes to less fortunate families has just launched its most glamourous initiative yet.

The Cowshed- based in Winnersh- will be Fairy Godmother to 16-18-year olds from backgrounds of hardship this year as it strives to provide school leavers with quality dresses and suits to wear to their school proms.

The initiative Prom at The Cowshed will invite individuals-who otherwise could not afford a special outfit- to choose from a selection of formal attires donated by the general public and local members of mobile phone network, giffgaff.

Among the items on offer will be prom dresses, suits, shoes, and accessories; all carefully chosen for their high quality and donated with the hope of making their new owners feel confident on their prom nights.

Co-founder of The Cowshed, Kester Russell said: “We are really thrilled to introduce this initiative and we have already received over 250 beautiful dresses and suits, including many brand new and designer outfits.

“We are so grateful to see that the initiative has resonated with the general public and we hope their generosity and support continues. We can’t wait to see the young people we help with their new outfits ready for their big days.”

The project got off to a gleaming start when it was announced winner of giffgaff’s Community Project scheme which granted The Cowshed £5000 in funding, marketing and logistical support.

And the significant contribution- which helped transform the initiative from an idea into a reality- has boosted the charity one step closer to helping teenagers celebrate a memorable milestone in their education.

Layla West from giffgaff said: “The Cowshed were very worthy winners of our Community Projects campaign, with some great initiatives directly helping those in need in the Berkshire community.

“We’re proud to be supporting their new prom initiative – it’s a cracking idea and hopefully it will have a lasting impact on 16-18-year-olds in the area who are unable to afford their own prom clothing.”

All secondary high schools in Berkshire have been contacted to introduce the initiative and encourage teachers or support staff to refer suitable candidates, with all referrals operating on a first-come-first-served basis.

To get involved in the initiative or for more information log on to or email

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