A group of determined parents are making sure their teenagers get the school send-off they deserve after the pandemic robbed them of their prom.

Eighteen months after Sweyne Park School’s leavers prom was cancelled, these teenagers will reunite with friends thanks to the sheer determination of parents and the community.

The leavers class of 2020 were looking forward to their prom, which had been scheduled for June, when Covid-19 put paid to those plans.

On March 23, 2020, Boris Johnson announced the first national lockdown with school’s closing and people told to stay indoors.

“So many were heartbroken, including my twin daughters, after spending months of searching different shops and hours of trying dresses on for just the right one and looking forward to letting their hair down after their final year of high school,” said parent Zoe Andrews.


Zoe is chair of the Final Farewell committee and, alongside other parents and local businesses, is organising a leavers prom for the kids this November – and more than 120 tickets have so far been sold.

“They deserve to have this day,” Zoe continued. “Everyone has been affected in different ways, but these teenagers didn’t get anything to mark the end of school. They didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to their friends and it was really difficult.”

Despite lingering questions over whether there will be any restriction implemented this winter, parents are confident everything is set to go ahead.

“It does look like it’s all systems go,” said Zoe. “We’re keeping our fingers and our toes crossed when it comes to lockdowns. Obviously, we won’t have the weather on our side, but I don’t think anything is going to dampen these kids’ enthusiasm for it."

Zoe was sure to mention that this would not have been possible without the support of numerous businesses, some of which had offered generous discounted prices, or agreed to push back their services free of charge.

She said: “I would like to thank Olivia’s Roses Florist and Event Dressing, Dave Mac Parties, Joe Honeyands Photography, The Chichester Hotel, Scotty Fun Casino, Sparkle Booths-Photo Booth and Magic Mirror Hire, Chloe Stock Photography, JJ’s Limo’s, Carly’s Custom Cutting, Squires Coffee Shop, Made by Eloise, Bake Me Happy, Magpies House and Storage Clearance, and of course, Mr Simms and Sweyne Park School."