After struggling to afford prom for her children, a Worsley mum has started her own special boutique giving dresses and suits out for free. 

The boutique, based at Rebecca Marshall’s home on Worsley Avenue, has an almost pristine collection of prom dresses, suits, shoes and bags that are all completely free.

“I know how hard it is to be a parent and as parents, we’ve kind of spoiled our children over the years. We’ve given everything that we didn’t have as kids,” Rebecca Marshall (42) said. 

“And then we’ve been hit by this current climate, the cost of living crisis, and we are having to pull back, we’re having to pull our belts in so tight.”

The Office for National Statistics says that the rising cost of living has caused 57 per cent of adults to spend less on non-essentials. This means that many families are having to make the decision whether to allow their teenager to go to prom or not.

Rebecca added: “The thought of letting your child down is such a heartbreaking feeling, so if I can take that away from a parent, it’s just really heartwarming.”

Rebecca started the boutique up last year after realising the financial impact prom can have on a parent.

“I thought wow how many parents are struggling because I was struggling and I’m not ashamed to say it,” Rebecca added. “I noticed the difference in expense from me doing my leavers do to my children doing theirs.”

Last year she managed to help 17 local children out with their prom attire through community donations.

“It cost me a fortune” she joked, “driving around and picking stuff up but the feeling of helping and knowing that 17 children have gone to prom outweighs that.

“Last year, we had a young boy who’d lost his parents and had gone into care. It was quite a sad story he was looking at not being able to go to prom. 

“Then my service went up and we got him sorted. Him and his girlfriend actually sent me a picture at prom and that was really nice, it actually made me cry.”

According to Rebecca the donations this year have been “even more successful”.

“I’ve had donations from far and wide across Salford we really have got such an amazing community.

“I’m still getting messages through and phone calls to pick other prom wear and suits up, so it’s been overwhelming to be honest.”

Rebecca, who also runs a support service BodyMindEducate, hopes that her boutique will carry on supporting teens as the cost of living crisis continues.

Rebecca commented: “There’s all this wonderful prom wear here and it would be a shame for it to go to waste, especially when it could save somebody such a lot of money.”


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