Model debuts as Chippenham staff raise charity funds

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Chloe Buckle and Viv Shephard showcase the Bonmarché spring fashions during the store’s fundraising catwalk night 	                                  (dv1136) By diane vose Chloe Buckle and Viv Shephard showcase the Bonmarché spring fashions during the store’s fundraising catwalk night (dv1136) By diane vose

Retail staff overcame their nerves to take to the catwalk and raise more than £340 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Bonmarché colleagues showed off the shop’s spring collection during their first attempt at modelling, which was staged inside the Emery Gate store in Chippenham.

Rose Makepeace, store manager at the women’s fashion retailer – which stocks clothes in sizes up to 30 – said: “It was nerve-wracking. We were really scared at first, but the people were so fantastic, shouting and clapping, it ended up real fun.

“It was phenomenal. We were shocked at the response. I borrowed 30 chairs from the town hall, but 56 people turned up.

“Macmillan is a charity pretty close to many of our customers’ hearts.”

The highlight of the event, held on Tuesday last week, came when Emery Gate security guard Bill McCarthy, donning a pink floral dress and green Macmillan wig, took to the catwalk, to be met with whoops of delight from the audience.

“Every single person was laughing and clapping. They loved it,” said Mrs Makepeace.

There was also a raffle for a luxury hamper, donated by the Emery Gate centre management.

Assistant manager Mel Lawrence said: “We were all ever so slightly nervous about the modelling aspect, but we are delighted to say we raised £343 for Macmillan, which made the night a huge success.

“We would like to thank our customers for their kind support for this worthy charity, also the team at Bonmarché who donated their time, as did the centre security staff.”

The store plans to hold a similar event in the future, but for the benefit of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance appeal.

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