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Charity shop challenge

432. Caroline Jones

A Harpenden woman who has worn a different charity shop outfit every day of 2015 and raised £40,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Caroline Jones, a mum of two, posts a picture on social media every day wearing a charity shop outfit to show you can dress well and shop ethically at the same time. The money she has raised comes through sponsorship for her challenge and other fundraising events including a catwalk and clothes sale. 

In October 2014, Caroline’s mother Mary sadly died of breast cancer. Mary had volunteered at Cancer Research UK shop in Harpenden, Hertfordshire for thirteen years, and soon after her death Caroline began volunteering as a window dresser in the shop. On New Year’s’ Eve 2014 she decided to start her campaign, called Knickers Model’s Own, as a tribute to her mother’s love of fashion. Since then she has not bought a single new item of clothing, and has used her creativity to style an outfit each day from clothes either purchased or borrowed from Cancer Research shops.

Caroline posts her daily photographs on social media sites and very quickly gained a large following across the UK and as far as Australia, the US and Canada. Her initial target was to raise £1000, but having reached reaching 140,000 combined ‘likes’ in the first week that she increased it to £36,500 – or £100 a day. As well as raising money for an important cause, Caroline has helped raise awareness of the benefits of shopping in charity shops and that with a little styling outfits can be ethical and fashionable. Since starting, Caroline has had hundreds of people tell her they have been inspired by her campaign and now shop in charity shops.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Caroline has come up with an innovative way to pay tribute to her mother and raise a fantastic amount of money for charity. Her challenge to wear a different charity shop outfit every day has clearly caught people’s imaginations and inspired them to support her idea. As she completes the final day of the challenge, I am delighted to recognise Caroline as a Point of Light.”

Caroline said:

“This award is a huge honour and I am thrilled to have been recognised. It is a wonderful way to end what has been the hardest and the most rewarding year of my life.”

Simon Ledsham, director of trading and volunteer fundraising at Cancer Research UK said:

“We are thrilled by everything Caroline has done for the charity throughout 2015. She has been an inspiration to many and has shown what great clothing can be found in our shops. Campaigns like this are absolutely vital to our work, as every penny raised will go towards the charity’s life-saving research. We look forward to working with her again on future fundraising – well done Caroline!”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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