Charitable Wyre woman making prom more affordable for teens across the Fylde coast

19-year-old Jess Basquill from Fleetwood is selling prom dresses at bargain prices to help underprivileged families and charities across the Fylde coast.
19-year-old Jess Basquill from Fleetwood is selling prom dresses at bargain prices to help underprivileged families and charities across the Fylde coast.

A Fleetwood woman is making school proms more affordable and giving to charity at the same time - by selling dresses for as little as £10 each.

Jess Basquill, 19, of Lark Court Fleetwood, decided to start her project "don't stress about the dress" in 2019 to help make proms more affordable for Fylde coast families.

Jess wants to help relieve the financial pressure of school proms for local families.

Jess wants to help relieve the financial pressure of school proms for local families.

As a lay worker for Pilling and Knott End Methodist churches, Jess has worked with underprivileged families and knew there would be others struggling to afford the expensive dresses pupils often wear to their school proms.

The former Cardinal Allen pupil said: "When I was at school, I remember how expensive it was to go to prom.

"I knew if my family were finding it difficult to afford a dress then there must be others who were really struggling.

"Most of the time, prom dresses are worn once then sit around doing nothing for a long time, so I decided to ask people to donate them so I can sell them on to help others."

Jess charges just £10-20 for dresses that have been worn only once or twice, and could retail for anywhere around £200 when bought new.

She also aims to split all proceeds between charities Men's Shed in Fleetwood, and Fylde Coast Women's Aid.

However, Jess was worried that there was too much of a stigma around second-hand clothing amongst teenage girls, halting sales.

In 2019, Jess raised £100 for the two charities- but after her first event of 2020 at Cardinal Allen Catholic high school yesterday, she raised just £20 despite having rails full of garments.

She said: "I'm going to be holding more pop-up events before Summer, to give people plenty of time to buy a dress.

"I just want to help with the expense of buying for school proms, but also donate to good causes locally as well."

Future pop-up events organised by Jess will be held at:

Thornton Methodist Church - Thursday January 23, 5pm-6:30pm

Cleveleys Community Church - Saturday January 25, 11am-1pm.

Poulton Methodist Church - Saturday February 1, 10:30am-12pm.

'The Zone,' Milton Street, Fleetwood - Thursday February 6, 5pm-7pm.

Anyone with a prom dress they wish to donate can contact Jess on Facebook to arrange collections.