They shall go to the ball - community rallies round to save teen celebrations in Whittlesey

You can watch Matt Hudson's report here.


Teenage children have had it tough during the pandemic: school disrupted, confined to the house and prom nights called off last summer because of Covid.

Sadly many of those rights of passage events face being called off again this year. But at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire businesses across the town have come together to organise proms for the end of next month.

Thanks to the efforts of Donna Erskine and many others, Year 11 pupils in Whittlesey will have a prom on July 30 - after their school one was once again cancelled because of Covid.

As well as organising the event Donna's dress hire business is offering gowns at cost price - or free if families are facing financial hardship.

Whittlesey is a small fenland town but one which takes pride in its sense of community. It also takes pride in its proms with the town's teenagers gathering in the pretty market square in all kinds of vehicles before making their way to the venue.

Friends Lauren and Bethan will be amongst around 100 teenagers there on the night...delighted they won't be missing out on this particular rite of passage after all.

Eastrea Community Centre will be the venue - available only because the organisers of another events stood aside. How's that for community spirit?

Lee Richards son goes to school in Whittlesey. So his dad is providing male and female security staff for the event for nothing. If it's still necessary they can also advise on Covid protocols.

A photographic record of the event is a bit of a must so step forward professional photographer Chris Brudenell who will be taking the pictures without charge.

Many other people are also doing their bit to help. After 18 long months July 30 promises to be quite a night.