Community Endeavour To Rescue Felixstowe School Prom

When the government announced that Covid-19 restrictions would be extended beyond June, many school proms around the country were cancelled, including the one organised by Felixstowe School for their Year 11s. Parents knew that this would be the case if social gathering restrictions weren’t eased, but this didn’t take away from the disappointment felt by families and the students themselves.  

After 16 months of disruption for all schools, Year 11 were particularly impacted due to this being their GCSE year, the culmination of their entire time at secondary school. Students had to cope with remote learning, limited face-to-face time with teachers, moving away from exams to evidence-based assessments and not being able to see their friends, as well as the uncertainty and worry about the pandemic in general. Prom was something they had been looking forward to since the beginning of high school and now that was also being taken away, many were distraught that they wouldn’t get to have that final goodbye event with their friends and teachers. Many had also already bought their prom dress or suit that they now wouldn’t get to wear. So, a few Year 11 parents got together and decided to make the prom happen themselves once restrictions were eased.

As soon as it was announced on social media that we were planning a new prom, we were inundated with messages of support as well as offers of help with things like photography, discos and decorations. We also received offers of donations from local companies and organisations which gave us the financial backing to proceed. We would like to publicly thank these companies as they have enabled us to put on so much more than we could have hoped for: A&S Recruitment, Boast International, Felixstowe Port Users Association, Goldstar Transport, Opal Bathrooms, Cosco Shipping, Friends of Felixstowe School and the Felixstowe Chamber of Commerce. Thank you on behalf of the Year 11 students and their parents.

The key thing we needed from the start was a venue and a date. We contacted several local venues and were delighted when Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club confirmed that they would be pleased to host the event on Thursday 5 August. The golf club really is the ideal location for the prom; they have plenty of outdoor space, a large marquee, stunning views for the photographs and a large car park for drop off and pick up. We can’t thank the team at the golf club enough for hosting us.

Security was always an important aspect of the event, so we were really grateful when we were approached by the team at The Grand who offered us their help. They have a professional security team who are very used to dealing with these types of events, so we have hired them for the evening to provide checks when entering the venue as well as keeping an eye on things throughout the prom itself.

Once we had the date and some donations, we started moving ahead with booking the other elements. So far, we have a highly recommended disco, karaoke, two photo booths, a candy cart, cake, chocolate fountain and a professional photographer. We also have a drone photography element, thanks to Time Flize, so there will be some unique images of the evening available free of charge. We have a red carpet and rope barriers, thanks to Breeze Events, which will give the students a grand experience when entering the venue and provide another great photo opportunity. We are hiring a hog roast for the night as well as vegetarian options and side dishes, the students will also be offered a free mocktail at the beginning of the night and there will also be free drinks on offer.

The support we have had from the community, the students and their families has been incredible, and I would personally like to thank the small team of parents that have worked with me to put this all together – Stuart Courtney, Zoe Roper, Jo Wells, Rachel Richardson, Kelly Simmons, Cassandra Aitchison and Sally Kennedy.

Of course, thank you to all the suppliers whose services are going to make this such a special experience for the children and will allow them to finish their high school journey in style.

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