Passion for Fashion hits the catwalk
Budding Rossendale fashion designers unleashed their first collections when the Passion 4 Fashion Kirklees project hit the catwalk at Huddersfield Town Hall.
The programme, supported by the Together Housing Group, has given a group of 50 unemployed residents from the Kirklees area and surrounding areas the chance to learn new skills from fashion industry experts, as well as training in budgeting and job skills.
Each designer was given a budget of £20 to spend in charity shops to buy clothes which they "upcycled" into a new creation and wore on the catwalk by the models themselves.
Throughout the project, advisors from the Citizens Advice Bureau, credit unions and JobCentre Plus have also been on hand to give advice, including how to write a CV, fill in applications and tackle job interviews.
Danielle Hinchcliffe, one of the participants, is re-taking her GCSEs in maths and is hoping to train as a dance instructor in the future.
She said: "This has opened my eyes in lots of ways, not just about fashion. I can't prioritise when it comes to money and the advisors have helped me with that."
Chevin resident Miriam Kirby, who is currently looking for work, told how the project had helped to re-build her self-esteem.
"I nearly gave up on the project because I felt lacking in confidence," she said. "But it's been absolutely fantastic. Passion 4 Fashion has brought out my creativity which I thought I'd lost. It has inspired me to look for a job that's creative because that's where I'm happiest."
After the show, Green Vale Homes resident, from Rossendale, Tracy Cope said: "I would just like to say a big thank you for the opportunity to participate. I can't describe in words how amazing it was. I am still buzzing!"
Pennine Housing resident Callista Muteswa added: "It was amazing. I feel like a celebrity now. I just loved the experience."
Jess Ryan, also a Pennine Housing resident said: "Thank you for this experience, I had a fabulous night and I'm looking forward to the next one!"
The project was supported by Connect Housing, Kirkless Council, Together Housing Group, Deighton & Brackenhall initiative, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, Sadeh Lok Housing Ltd and Headrow Ltd.
Photographed above: Green Vale resident Tracey Cope on the catwalk.