Wedding dress shop donates more than 50 dresses to help local charity

Manager Debbie Watkins and bridal consultant from Shropshire Country Brides, Kerrie Hickman, at Monkmoor Severn Hospice

Earlier this month, Severn Hospice’s Monkmoor shop held a prom dress sale, raising £400 for the charity.

The event caught the eye of Jackie Betton and her daughter Emma O’Donohue, who own Shropshire Country Brides of Leebotwood near Church Stretton.

So, they sorted more than 50 designer dresses from their stock, contacted Monkmoor’s manager Debbie Watkins and dropped of the stunning gowns to go on general sale.

Debbie was overcome when she opened the boxes to reveal some dresses covered in sequins while others were made of satin, chiffon, and organza.

“I really just couldn’t believe it, it’s a dream come true,” said Debbie. “I was so touched by their generosity.

“We held a sale day at the beginning of March, aimed at girls who will be going to their high school prom this summer.

“There were dozens of second-hand dresses on sale, and we made £400 which was brilliant. We just wanted to help make memories for girls going to their prom – after everything they have been through with the pandemic.

“After that sale, Emma got in touch and said she would like to donate some which we could have on sale in our shop. These dresses are just stunning. They are all brand new, with the tags still attached.

“It made me quite emotional when I saw them for the first time. I really cannot find the words to thank Emma and Jackie for their donation. This is amazing and incredibly generous.”

The dresses, which are suitable for any occasion, are now on sale at the shop on Telford Estate, Shrewsbury, which is open Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm, or by appointment.

Emma said: “Kerry, who works for us, saw about Debbie’s prom dress sale on social media. After that sale had taken place, we decided to sort out our stock room and donate as much as we could so that girls who would not be able to afford a designer dress could get one at a fraction of the cost.

“To know that our dresses are going to make perfect memories for someone’s prom while also raising money for a charity close to our hearts is incredibly special.

“My grandad was looked after in the hospice in Shrewsbury before he died last year and so we wanted to just do something to say thanks.

“Normally we donate bits and bobs to the hospice shop in Church Stretton, but this was the ideal opportunity for us to do that little bit more.

“Severn Hospice is such an important charity and if we can help it in some way, we will.”