Swiss Cottage school pupils hold designer vintage sale to support Pigs4Kids campaign

Students at a Swiss Cottage special-needs school hosted a clothes sale full of designer donations to raise money for a campaign to support their teaching.

Designer clothes and shoes donated by Paul McCartney’s photographer daughter, Mary, flew off the rails as guests went home with bags full of vintage dresses bought to support the Pigs4Kids campaign.

More than £3,200 was generated at the sale at Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre last Wednesday in support of the Ham&High’s campaign.

More than 200 guests attended and were offered a glass of pink prosecco before sampling canapés made by children.

Katherine Harvey, director of development at the special school, said: “It was really glamorous, really packed.

“It’s one of the best supported events in terms of teachers and people coming from all over London. We also had loads of neighbours. It was very exciting.”

Ana Ayesta, who lives near the school, dreamed up the idea and also helped to host the vintage sale.

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“She was so inspired by the school she wanted to do something that involved the children because something we really try to do is give work experience to the children,” said Ms Harvey.

“So this is something that was not only going to raise a decent amount of money but would involve the children in the preparation.”

The students sorted and labelled the clothes, helped guests pick out designs and guided them around the school to the changing room.

They were also involved in working the tills, bagging clothes and mingling with guests – asking them to pop money into the Pigs4Kids pink piggy banks.

The sale was also part of an enterprise project run by the school to help pupils with special needs gain vocational qualifications.

Claire Avant, development manager at the school, who helped organise the event, said: “Students really benefit from an experience like this and it was part of their enterprise project, so they’re actually getting accreditation for doing this, for planning it.”

She added: “It was a good opportunity for them to practice their life skills. Everyone was happy so hopefully it will become an annual event.”

Pigs4Kids raises money for the school in Avenue Road where a research centre underpins teaching.

When it was opened a year ago the Ham&High called on readers to help raise £60,000 through Pigs4Kids to support the school’s work. The fundraising total has now reached well over £30,000.

The centre also hosts conferences and workshops on topics such as neuroscience, mental health and special educational needs.