St Andrews Charity Fashion Show

Overview of fundraising

We started the year with our annual ‘Starfields’ event, a music festival located in the infamous St Andrews ‘lower college lawn’ with DJ ‘Barry Can’t Swim’ headlining!
The rest of the academic year consisted of smaller scale events including collaborative club nights with our local student DJs and sustainable fashion and arts events. (These are likely to continue until the end of the year in May so we can maximise fundraising).
Our main event was the St Andrews Charity Fashion Show held on 17 February! The event was an incredible collaboration of hard work from our student-run committee, ranging from the talented choreography and fashion teams, to the front of house and events management. The charity team also ran the coat check of the event.

Since my first year at St Andrews, I strove to be a part of FS. We truly are a family that strives to make an impact in our community and beyond through our events and charitable mission. During my second year, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer that was caught at an early stage due to genetic testing. It has been a battle she fought and conquered over the past three years that has deeply impacted my family in ways beyond what we could imagine. In my fourth year, when I was chosen as Executive Director of FS and it came time to choose a charity, I knew I wanted to choose a charity that was near and dear to my heart. Originally, I was driven towards choosing a charity centering around breast cancer. However, from speaking with my parents, they informed me the better way to honor her would be through choosing a charity that focused on the awareness and accessibility to genetic testing, as without genetic testing, it is likely my moms cancer would have gone undetected for years. This is what led me to Genetic Alliance UK. Not only the mission to bring awareness for rare diseases, but also support the families of those who suffer from these diseases is what deeply connected me to Genetic Alliance UK. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner with them. The full weight of FS was behind me in choosing the charity and having my mom in attendance at last year's show was an incredibly humbling and heartwarming moment.

The global disruption the past years has impacted St Andrews in a multitude of ways, one of which is the charitable events. I hoped that my personal connection to this charity allowed a chance to restrengthen the bond between St Andrews events, including FS, and our chosen charities. I’ve seen this is the continuation of FS and Genetic Alliance’s partnership. Last year, FS was hit with very heavy financial burdens due to unforeseen circumstances. This year's Directors’ choice to forgo tradition of choosing a new charity yearly and instead continue this partnership to bring Genetic Alliance the full weight of our efforts is a true demonstration of the family FS builds and our commitment to charity.

As a non profit ourselves, FS understands the commitment and impact that charities undertake to create an impact. What Genetic Alliance achieves on a political, research, medical, and personal level for the lives of those living with rare diseases is nothing short of a miracle and we are honoured to to play a small role in it. On behalf of me, my mom, and The St Andrews Charity Fashion Show, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Carleton Blackwell, Director, St Andrews Charity Fashion Show