Prom at The Cowshed

Sharon Ketley
Author's position
Referrals Coordinator for The Cowshed
Primary interest
Families and Parenting
The Cowshed launch exciting new initiative ‘Prom at The Cowshed’

The Cowshed charity was established in 2018 and is almost entirely run by volunteers. It supports people of all backgrounds in a time of personal crisis. The aim of The Cowshed is to provide good quality cleaned and ironed clothing and other essentials free to anyone in need. The clothes are donated from the general public as well as retailers and manufacturers; they are then sorted, washed and ironed at our premises ready to be delivered or collected by social services, other health professionals or our clients.

The idea is that our clients feel that they are receiving a gift to assist them in a time of crisis rather than some old clothes that are over worn, marked or damaged. Since we launched in February 2019, we have helped over 600 people in very different but difficult situations including those fleeing domestic abuse, the homeless, and emergency custody situations.

Prom at the Cowshed

Our latest initiative is ‘Prom at The Cowshed’ which was launched in November. Attending Prom or the Leavers Ball is an important and exciting event for 16 to 18-year olds. Outfits are often very expensive, resulting in some students either not attending or their families potentially getting into debt. We will provide a free Prom outfit lending service to include short and long prom dresses, suits, shoes and accessories to any school age children whose families/carers are unable to purchase one for them. They will be able to come and borrow an outfit, on a referral basis from their school/educational establishment, social worker, or other charities.

All our outfits have been donated by the general public and the stock is cleaned and pressed at our warehouse. We have already received over 300 beautiful dresses and suits, including many brand new and designer outfits, and hope to get more over the coming months.

Making a referral
  • Should you be aware of any students who you feel would benefit from this service, we encourage you and your colleagues to refer suitable candidates (e.g. pupil premium) via the referral tab on our website.
  • The initiative is being communicated to all senior schools across Berkshire and so referrals will operate on a first come first served basis.
  • If you would like to be involved with this new initiative or discuss our project in further detail please contact us at
  • Our website contains further information about our charity and its aims.