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  1. ITV Report

Hundreds will go to the ball thanks to Barnsley abuse survivor's prom dress appeal

A domestic abuse survivor in Barnsley has collected more than 300 dresses in a bid to make prom night more affordable for struggling parents.

Nicky Oates vowed to make a difference after a fellow victim told her she was too scared to tell her twin daughters that she couldn't afford their prom dresses.

I couldn't get her out of my mind. For Mum's and Dad's to say we can't afford that - how do you say that? You want to recognise that your child has done well and school but how do you say: 'No, we can't afford it'.

– Nicky Oates, Fundraiser

Nicky put a status on Facebook asking her friends to donate their old prom dresses.

People in Barnsley rallied around the idea, and in six weeks, she collected over 300 dresses and fifty suits.

She has since had businesses and individuals offering to do donate car hire, nails, hair and make-up.

Her friend, Rachel Jones, joined the campaign, and together they launched a Facebook Group called 'Once Upon A Prom'.

Things took off and I spent lots of days picking up lots of dresses from people who had also been inspired to help. A lot of the people I collected dresses from were people who'd been in a similar situation before and wanted to give something back and help out the kids to get to the prom.

– Rachel Jones, Fundraiser

The idea is acting as a fundraiser for domestic abuse charity Pathways. It has supported victims in Barnsley for the last 25 years but is in danger of closing due to lack of funding.

Not only does it help Pathways but it helps our client group. A large proportion of our client group are low income or single parents, and at these times of year it becomes incredibly difficult for them - so not only is it benefiting us, it's benefiting our clients.

– Derrick Thompson, Counselling Service Manager

The dresses, suits and accessories will be displayed at a red-carpet event at Shafton ALC on Wednesday 25th April at 6pm.

Teenagers will be able to pick an outfit, pay a small amount and donate the items back after their prom.