With our annual Fizz and Fashion Friday just around the corner, Charlie House is gearing up for a day full of gorgeous outfits and fantastic memories!
One of our lovely models, Jill, receives support from Charlie House alongside her son, Harris, and she has recently started working for the charity too. She’s well acquainted with all things Fizz and Fashion, from being a ‘mummy model’ back in 2018, telling her story during the 2019 event and even cheering from the sidelines with friends in 2022.
Like us, Jill can’t wait for our popular event to make its return this March, as she’s decided to strut her stuff again. We caught up with Jill to find out what she is most looking forward to this year, how the prep is going and any advice she would give to hesitant parents looking for a new challenge…
What is the experience of being a model for Fizz and Fashion like?
“It is a whole load of emotions all rolled into one! At the time of volunteering to model, the event seems so far away that you are not even thinking about the day yet. It all comes around so fast and the nerves begin kicking in, however, by this time you’ve really started to bond with the other models and we all support each other so much which really helps to calm the nerves and enjoy the day!”
What did you think about your outfit choices for the event?
“I was so excited once I had seen my outfits for the day, they weren’t something I would usually wear or pick out for myself but when I tried everything on I absolutely fell in love - especially with the yellow dress. All those outfits were supplied by John Lewis, with our very own personal shopper to help us out - this felt like such a treat for us mums who don’t get much time to ourselves, let alone a full shopping day!
“This year, all the evening outfits have been supplied by Style for your Shape. Victoria, the owner of the business, is so lovely and has made sure that our comfort on the day is the most important thing! Hamish Munro is supplying all the casual wear which I can’t wait to show off. Trying on the outfits with all the other mums was such a supportive experience and we all left looking forward to the day even more!
How does it feel after the event is over?
“Let's just say, a glass of prosecco is very well deserved afterwards! By the end of the event you are so full of emotions that it’s hard to pinpoint how you are really feeling. On the one hand you have a rush of adrenaline and confidence from walking out in front of so many people but also, you’ve gotten to know the other mums so well that it can feel quite sad for the event to suddenly be over.
“While you're getting glam, it is only natural to chat to the other mums and hear more about their family’s story and although our experiences are so different, we also have a great deal in common. It means that walking in the show has such a purpose behind it, we know first hand what we’re doing this for and who it directly supports - it makes it all so much more worthwhile.”
What are you most excited for this Friday?
“To be honest, I am really looking forward to a day out. My son Harris will be in respite straight from school, so I won’t need to worry or rush about for the pick-up as usual, I’ll be able to focus on the event and enjoy the celebrations fully afterwards. Getting the opportunity to dress up in beautiful clothes and catch up with my friends and family who will be there cheering me on will be fantastic - I’m sure a lot of the other parents will agree that it’s a real treat for us!
“Of course, I’m looking forward to the fundraising too. I know first hand just how much of a difference this sort of event makes to a family like ours, so it is really important to get the word out about the incredible work of Charlie House.”
What does this event mean to the parents taking part?
“Comradery and support are two words that come to mind. As a parent of a child with a life limiting condition, we are always pushed to the extremes in the care we have to provide. Getting a chance to do this on our own terms by switching off as a mum and becoming a model for the day isn’t an opportunity that presents itself often.”
What advice would you give to other parents who might want to take part next year?
“Just go for it! It is such a great experience - from getting to dress in lovely clothes and having your makeup professionally done, to the wonderful people you meet and the rush you get when it’s all over, it really is worth it!”