CATWALK Charity Fashion Show

If you are interested in helping the CATWALK Charity Fashion Show, please visit their website www.catwalkstandrews.com or email them at [email protected]  The sponsorship prospectus can be found here.  Read more about their exploits below.

From one bubble to another. In the 2016 yearbook, I was awarded the title of ‘Most likely to return to teach at the High’, and whilst I am not planning to be a teacher, my classmates did recognise within me my love for the bubble – the intimate, pro-active, and sociable nature of LSF became my requirements for any circumstance. Therefore, it was a surprise to no one when I fell comfortably into life at the University of St Andrews, an equally small, supportive and busy education environment. It was easy to see how my university activities reflected the interests and values I had garnered over my 14 years at LSF – the abundance of theatre, involvement in charity and a complete lack of sport mirrors exactly how I spent my school days.

But throughout my time at university, it has become apparent that the culture and environment at LSF did not just have a profound effect on me, but also on many of my fellow classmates. There are only a few Loughburians currently at St Andrews, but those of us that are here run a high risk of bumping into LSF alumni – partly due to the small student population, and partly due to our shared attraction towards activity and commitment, undeniably forged during our school days. One such time, I found myself hosting a drag show alongside fellow Old Girl Izzy Peek, who had been Head Girl in the year above me, which I followed in the role of mere House Captain. Maybe giving school assemblies or rallying a crowd at sports day had had a greater effect upon our dispositions than we gave it credit for.

But there is a more prevalent example in my current university circumstance which speaks even more loudly of the invisible culture which is integral to life on the Walks. In my third year, I signed up for a charity fashion show called CATWALK – I was keen to be involved in the student fashion shows which play a large part in the St Andrews events calendar. What I did not expect to discover in a committee where I supposedly knew no one was to find one of my colleagues, and now close friend, was from the other side of Burton Street as a former pupil of Our Lady’s Convent School (now Loughborough Amherst School). Millie Elliott and I have spent the majority of our education in alarmingly close proximity: less than 500 metres from each other at LSF, she at OLCS and I at LHS, and then 2 years in the same small university town, all the while ignorant of each other’s existence. But Millie’s school experience greatly mirrors my own; she held the role of Caritas Prefect from 2013-14, and then progressed to Head Girl of OLCS for 2014-15, showing a penchant for commitment and activity from a young age. Despite not knowing each other, we both have taken very similar paths and have reached a very similar final destination for our final year at St Andrews: as Director and Vice Director of CATWALK 2020. These roles will challenge us much more than any other previous project, as we oversee and co-ordinate one of the largest fashion shows in St Andrews, striving to create an impressive event, and raise a minimum target of £10,000.

It is not a coincidence that two women educated at LSF, and brought up in an environment which celebrates extra-curricular achievement as highly as academic attainment, have individually forged paths which led to the same goal. As a third Loughburian joined the team this year (Iona McNeill – another former OLCS pupil), the evidence really was incontestable. The fact that we all sought something beyond our degree reflects an extra-curricular convention which is rife in LSF, and it is often apparent in the lives of my other school friends who are at different universities. The fact we were all attracted to the only fashion show in St Andrews which donates all revenue from ticket sales and fundraising events to charity, a significant difference to the other fashion shows at our university, echoes the philanthropic and genuine nature which was encouraged through many endeavours in our time at LSF. The fact that three women, educated in an all-girls environment at LSF schools, are striving to raise large amounts for charity whilst growing a creative brand and rising within a team, speaks volumes on the value we feel an all-girls, LSF education has had upon our characters.

CATWALK has always relied upon generous donations from our sponsors to raise the extraordinary amount which we have already achieved (£45,000 since 2015). If you are able to support us and forge yet another link between the Foundation and this charitable cause, either through corporate sponsorship or through direct donations to our charitable total, it would mean a great deal to us, your fellow alumni. Many thanks.

Isi Webb-Jenkins
(Class of 2016)