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Students' fashion show raises record-breaking £36,000 for mental health charity

A charity fashion show organised by students from Durham University has raised record-breaking sums to help people with mental illness.

Collingwood College Fashion Show is held every year with students planning the whole event and modelling sustainable clothing ranges on the night.

They selected PoetsIN to benefit from their efforts after learning about the invaluable work of the mental health charity. PoetsIN helps thousands of people each year with tailored support programmes focusing on creativity to reduce the symptoms and impact of mental ill health.

Hours of planning goes into the Collingwood College Fashion Show which has raised a staggering £36,260 for the charity. In the months leading up to the event, the students held additional fundraisers including dance-a-thons, pottery painting and raffles to further boost the charity coffers.

Emma Steele, a second year geography student and charity co-ordinator for the event, said: “We selected PoetsIN as our charity for CCFS 2023 as we knew from the beginning that we wanted to support a charity focused on mental health, both in supporting those struggling and in enhancing wider education and the eradication of stigma.

“Their ethos and vision deeply inspired us throughout the whole process of planning, coordinating and rehearsing the show, as harnessing and celebrating creativity and individuality is so important to us all.

“Being able to raise such an incredible sum of money for such an amazing charity is something we are all beyond proud of. CCFS 2023 is something that all of those involved will never forget and we cannot thank PoetsIN enough for joining us on this journey."

Representatives from PoetsIN were among the guests at the glittering event on Friday, June 16, at Durham Amateur Rowing Club. They praised the students’ hard work, passion and thoughtful planning which made it such a success.

Joe Watts, chief strategy officer at PoetsIN, said: “The event was beautifully organised with a powerful message to raise awareness and funds to be able to support many others that are currently struggling.

“The total raised so far is incredible! This is the biggest amount raised ever outside of the charity and will enable us to provide around 1,208 hours of mental health support.

“It is humbling, and we are so grateful. Thank you doesn't quite cut it.”

For more information about PoetsIN or to donate to the charity, visit


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