A WOMAN is asking for people to donate their prom outfits after she heard about a 16-year-old boy who could not afford to buy one.

Emma Green, 28, who lives in Portslade, saw a Facebook post from Hove Park School asking for a suit to be donated so one of their pupils could dress up for his end-of-year dance.

She decided to help – and started asking people to donate their unwanted prom outfits for pupils from less fortunate families.

Emma, a nursery practitioner at Deepdene School in Hove, said: “It got me thinking about how expensive the whole prom experience can be.

“And because it’s so important to students it puts a financial pressure on families which can almost be impossible to cover for some.

“I thought back to my prom experience – I was lucky enough to be able to visit a wide range of shops trying on different outfits. I want to make this possible for youngsters who can’t afford it so have sent out requests for donations.”

Emma said the response she has received has been incredible.

Not only has she received clothing donations, but also businesses have come forward offering to do make up and send prestigious cars to take pupils who can’t afford to pay for everything required to make the end-of-year dance a success.

She said: “We now have in our possession, thanks to so many caring and generous people, many beautiful dresses, suits, shoes and accessories in just over a weekend.

“The local community have really come together to make this idea a reality, it’s truly overwhelming the number of caring decent people out there willingly going out of their way to help others.”

Although it’s a bit late to start arranging the donations now given proms have started, Emma said schools have responded positively, telling her they would love to co-operate in time for next year.

Emma said: “The plan will be to visit the schools, set up stands and tables in their halls and allow the students to have the same experience as I did and many others did by picking what they like, trying them on and getting excited about their very special prom night. My partner, James White, and I will be looking into building suitable storage for the outfits keeping them safe and dry.

“This is just an idea at the moment to help make it all completely free for those in need and also let others benefit by obtaining an affordable outfit to wear.

“It’s all happened so quickly and we’re open to suggestions on how to further or improve what we are trying to achieve.”

Jim Roberts, headteacher at Hove Park School, said the school has organised fundraisers, including a gofundme page, to ensure all students are able to take part in all opportunities and experiences at the school, irrespective of parental income or postcode.

He said: “The Year 11 prom has become a wonderful celebration of a student’s time at Hove Park. We are fully aware however, that the ticket price together with everything else that goes with it will sometimes make the total cost a barrier for some students and their families. We were overwhelmed by the response to our recent Facebook post. It just shows what a caring and supportive community we have.

“Emma’s vision to build on our idea and take it one step further is brilliant and will provide a service that means many future students from across the city will be able to attend their school prom.”