Catwalk success for '˜Moving On Up' show

Organisers of a fashion show featuring young people and adults with learning disabilities say they are 'overwhelmed' by the community's support.

Tuesday, 24th May 2016, 11:30 am
Angela McDonald with Ceara McElhinney at the Moving On Up fashion show. Photo: Peter McKane.

The fashion show was organised by Moving On Up, a local business who say they “promote independent living skills and social acceptance and inclusion for the learning disabled within the community”.

“We exist to offer choice to and promote inclusion of our students. Our organisation is all about social and community engagement and inclusiveness,” said Angela McDonald.

The fashion show raised a much needed £2,000 for two local organisations, and was attended by approximately 300 people.

Andrew Barr enjoys his stint on the catwalk.

“This year ‘Moving On Up’ invited COS Roe Valley to be a part of the event and will be donating some of the funds raised to them as they provide an excellent inclusive service to local families in need of support,” said Ms McDonald.

“They not only offer services to the child in question but open up their service to the family as a whole including siblings, parents/carers in any activities/events they offer.

“Alongside this they offer support and information to parents/carers.”

Angela said for students to grace the catwalk took great courage.

L-R: Sinead McLaughlin, Causeway Mayor Michelle Knight McQuillan, Lewis Newman, Bronagh Devlin and Olivia Callaghan. Photo: Peter McKane.

“To hear everyone cheering on the models, it meant the world to them in terms of their confidence and their self esteem. It made them feel very special, and that’s pricless, really,” said Ms McDonald. It was a very emotional night and we were so proud of all our students.”

Ms. McDonald said the support from across the community was “overwhelming.”

“We couldn’t believe so many people turned out to support it,” said Ms McDonald. “We were worried we would have too many chairs out and we’d have to put some away, but it was standing room only. We couldn’t believe it.”

Training and Personal Development Manager and co-ordinator of the fashion show, Jennie Bell, said: “We have been really lucky with the amount of shops and local businesses who wanted to support our event this year. We received prizes for our raffle and financial donations towards the event from many generous local people who without this event would not be possible. I believe this shows great support and belief by the local community for the work carried out by Moving On Up in providing a service to the learning disabled. This, in turn, gives us great encouragement and determination to continue to offer our services and to further develop opportunities for our students.”

Andrew Barr enjoys his stint on the catwalk.

‘Moving On Up’ thanked the businesses who provided clothes for models at the show.

L-R: Sinead McLaughlin, Causeway Mayor Michelle Knight McQuillan, Lewis Newman, Bronagh Devlin and Olivia Callaghan. Photo: Peter McKane.