Chichester 21-year-old’s prom charity to make dress dreams come true

From bridesmaids dresses to evening gowns, Megan is grateful for every single donation
From bridesmaids dresses to evening gowns, Megan is grateful for every single donation

A student from Chichester has set up a charity to make prom dress dreams come true for teenage girls in care.

Megan Jaclyn Smith, a 21-year-old student taking a degree in social work at the University of Portsmouth, always dreamed of setting up Dresses and Dreams, but felt she did not have the contacts to do so until now.

People who want to donate their dress or make an enqiury can contact Megan through the charity's Instagram page

People who want to donate their dress or make an enqiury can contact Megan through the charity's Instagram page

Megan established the charity in order to give girls in care the opportunity to enjoy a night every student is thought to look forward to throughout their time at school.

Megan said: “When teenage girls are in either residential children’s homes or foster care, they do not receive funding from the local authority for prom dresses, transport or hair and make-up.”

She said: “Prom is such a big thing in teenage culture.

“I want to make sure that every single girl, no matter their background, feels empowered and beautiful on their special night.”

Even designer dresses like this Sherri Hill gown are being donated to the charity

Even designer dresses like this Sherri Hill gown are being donated to the charity

So far, more than 60 unique dresses in different sizes, colours, brands and designs have been donated from across the country, even from as far away as Newcastle.

Although Megan not only works full-time as a student but also works part-time as a barmaid, Dresses and Dreams is currently being funded by her until the official registration of the charity is complete.

Megan said: “I have been lucky enough to receive clothes rails, dry cleaner bags and hangers from businesses in Chichester, including Marks and Spencer and New Look.

“The next thing on my list is organising a photo shoot to display the dresses available for this year’s prom and I hope that, by next year, I can venture out even further and provide the same opportunity for boys.”

To donate a dress, provide a beauty service or support the charity, please message Megan directly through the ‘dressesndreams_charity’ Instagram page.