TEENAGERS looking forward to their end-of-year prom this summer are being given a helping hand by a Haddington business.

Sophia Grace Couture has donated more than 40 stylish dresses to Knox Academy after an appeal was launched.

Naydene Jardine (pictured below), who owns the business on Court Street, was happy to step in with the special gift.

East Lothian Courier: Naydene Commins, owner of Sophia Grace Couture

She said: “The prom marks an end of an era.

“These girls are leaving school and going on to the next chapter – whether it is university, college or starting a job.

“In some cases, they are moving away from home.

“This marks the end of a chapter and you want to feel good and look back and think ‘I remember that’ or ‘I remember the dress’.

“It is a key thing for a lot of girls.”

The business, which last year featured in US romcom Meet Me In Scotland, specialises in wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, evening and prom dresses, shoes and accessories.

And when the Haddington secondary school got in touch with businesses throughout the town, Naydene was happy to help out.

She said: “Knox had sent out a leaflet saying they were looking for donations of various things.

“One of them was they were hoping to set up a prom boutique.

“The gist of it was people that might not be able to purchase a prom dress, they were asking for things like that for less fortunate families.

“We decided we had stock there which we normally sell off in a sale. We get a lot of girls that come to us from Knox for their prom dresses and we thought to give a bit back so we donated quite a number of dresses.”

East Lothian Courier: Stylist Charlotte Forrest gets ready to donate the dresses from Sophia Grace Couture to Knox AcademyStylist Charlotte Forrest gets ready to donate the dresses from Sophia Grace Couture to Knox Academy

Prom dresses, which can cost upwards of £270, were donated to the school in various styles and sizes.

Naydene, who opened the business in the former Clydesdale Bank eight years ago, stressed that the dresses often found a second use.

Many are taken to seamstresses to be changed into cocktail dresses so they can be used on other occasions, while some are sold online.

Hannah McBride, Knox Academy’s principal teacher equity, was delighted with the donation.

She said: “As part of the Knox Academy Essentials Hub set up this year, we are working towards organising a community-led event to support young people and their families with clothing for the S6 Leavers Dance.

“This is for two reasons: firstly because the financial implications of purchasing such outfits can sometimes be too much for some families and, secondly, because these outfits are often only worn once, therefore the environmental impact can be detrimental.

“Sophia Grace’s donation was very much appreciated as a contribution to our plans.

“Any further donations of formal wear, especially for men, or a railing for hanging clothes on, would still be greatly received.”