Like Cinderella they didn’t expect to go to the ball in style.
But the touching story of children at a special needs school in Preston had a fairytale ending last night when the youngsters finally made it to their summer prom in a fleet of gleaming carriages.
Big-hearted benefactors made the dream come true for the 33 teenagers from Sir Tom Finney Community High when they put luxury cars at their disposal – chauffeurs and all – for the biggest night of their school lives.
A fleet of flash motors arrived at the Lonsdale Club in Fulwood carrying the school leavers to the lavish party. On arrival they got a surprise welcome from the Mayor of Preston Coun Brian Rollo.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for what they’ve done,” said Laura Mulholland, whose 15-year-old daughter Jessica travelled to the prom in a brand new Jaguar car with personalised number plates reading JESS 1.
“The response to the children’s predicament was absolutely overwhelming. After all the bad news around at the moment, something like this restores your faith in human nature.”
The youngsters, some who use wheelchairs, looked like they would miss out on making the traditional grand entrance on prom night when a late change in arrangements meant local limo firms were already booked up.
With the prom season in full swing, parents found themselves struggling to book the sort of luxury transport which has become a feature of these end of school events.
So they contacted the Post and appealed for help. What happened next simply bowled them over.
“We were literally inundated with offers of help after the article in the paper,” said Laura. “Range Rovers, BMWs, Mercedes, vintage cars and sports cars were all offered. People were so incredibly generous. For these children to be able to travel to their prom in such style was really incredible. It was something they will never forget.
“My daughter Jessica had a new Jaguar with a special personalised plate just for her. She was over the moon. But the person who loaned the car for the night wanted to stay anonymous. Apparently they saw the story in the Post and just wanted to help.
“That is what Lancashire people are like. It restores your faith in human nature.
“The children were all really excited to be travelling to the prom in such lovely cars. It made it an even more special night for them all. We’re so grateful to everyone.”
who rallied round to make it such a great night.”
Sean Jukes, headteacher at the Sir Tom Finney School, said: “We are very grateful to Mrs Mulholland for trying to get so much support. The generosity of folk has been absolutely marvellous.
“I’m sure the young people will remember this experience for a long time.”