Real-life fairy godmothers from York have been nominated for an award celebrating the once-in-a-lifetime joy they offer to others across the city.

Tia and Megen England, from Strensall, have been running York Community Prom Dress Borrow in their spare time – offering the free loan of dresses for the special occasion especially beloved of students moving on from Year 11 across schools in the city.

Sisters Tia, 21, and Megen, 18, have been put forward for the Best Community Project in York Community Pride Awards 2024.

The sisters estimated the cost of a new prom dress at around £300 and Megan said that’s an expense families don’t need in times of a cost-of-living crisis, adding that their service is also a nod to sustainability.York Press: A selection of prom dresses from over 200 donated so far, prepped and ready for a try-on eventA selection of prom dresses from over 200 donated so far, prepped and ready for a try-on event (Image: Supplied)

They said they didn’t want to see people missing out on the opportunity of the whole prom experience and York Community Prom Dress Borrow helps to ease the financial burden.

As well as running a website dedicated to receiving donated dresses from all over the world, booking appointments and ensuring messages are answered, they help arrange and curate special monthly try-on events in village and parish halls and do so in their free moments – Tia works at First Bus and Megen is a York College student.

Tia said: “I do a lot of the social media in the evenings, making sure that we’ve replied to all the emails, checking we haven’t missed any comments because it’s got so big via social media we have to reply quickly.

“We dedicate time during the day and night of try-ons to make sure everything is set up, so we know it’s going to all go smoothly.

“Collecting dresses is quite easy when they’re in York but sometimes you have to go out of your way to pick things up.”

The sisters said they get a lot of great feedback, photos and messages from proms and said helping with that opportunity from the outset gives them a real lift.

Tia said: “We do a lot of private appointments but recently we had one that was a little bit more mixed, seeing the other girls being so lovely and kind to each other and telling each other how beautiful they looked.”

Megen has competed in beauty pageants and contributed some of her own dresses to racks which now boast over 200 colour co-ordinated outfits, said: “Throughout quite a lot of the events we’ve seen a lot of family members there and their friends.

“It’s a real fun experience for us as well which has been really nice to share in, a bit like trying on a wedding dress in that sense, where they’ve been able to have that intimate appointment with the family seeing one of the most important dresses they’ll wear in their teenage years.”

Both sisters said they were proud to be nominated and have received encouraging words of support from friends and lots of help from family members and other loved ones.

To make contact with the team email: or visit the York Community Prom Dress Borrow Facebook group

Nominate your community heroes here

Do you know a remarkable person or group who make their communities a better place and are worthy of applause and recognition?

Nominations are open for York Community Pride Awards 2024, held by The Press.

This year’s categories are:-

  • Health Service Hero - every day, an army of unsung heroes quietly go about their duties in the health service. We’re looking for that special someone whose dedication is second to none.
  • Carer of the Year - this award recognises the contribution of an individual care worker who strives to improve the delivery of care. This person must demonstrate outstanding levels of commitment to care and put the person being cared for at the heart of what they do.
  • School of the Year - this award will recognise a school which has had a positive impact on its pupils and the wider community.
  • Volunteer of the Year - for an individual who gives freely and unselfishly of his or her time to help others.
  • Young Person of the Year - many young people under the age of 16 make an excellent contribution to their communities and this award recognises the importance of young people in our region.
  • Charity Fundraiser of the Year - this amateur fundraiser need not necessarily have raised the most cash, but will be judged on innovative fundraising methods and the personal effort involved.
  • Best Community Project - for projects carried out by an informal, non-recognised voluntary group (recognised or registered voluntary organisations such as Rotary, Round Table or Lions Clubs are not eligible).
  • Education Hero of the Year - this award will recognise an individual who works in the education sector, from the Head to a site manager and everyone in between. This person will have gone above and beyond in the last year. They could have provided outstanding support for pupils, demonstrated real creativity to delivering learning experiences and inspired youngsters and colleagues with their resilience and positivity.
  • York Community Pride Outstanding Contribution Award - for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to promoting pride in our city or our community.
  • Public Sector Hero - someone who works in the public sector and has gone that extra mile to help others or use his or her skills to assist others or improve their environment.
  • Sports Person / Team of the Year - this award will recognise an individual or a team in a sporting discipline, individual sport or sporting event, that has achieved the most notable performance in recent months and shown examples of outstanding commitment, dedication and enthusiasm in their chosen sport.

All nominees must live in York or surrounding areas and contribute to their local community.

The awards will be judged by an independent panel, and the three finalists from each category will be invited to the awards ceremony.

York Press: Scan the QR code, click the link to complete and within minutes, we'll have your nominationScan the QR code, click the link to complete and within minutes, we'll have your nomination (Image: Newsquest)

You can make an entry using the QR code (pictured).

To do this, use a smart phone’s camera to scan the QR code.

Wait for the link to appear, then click the link, where you will be redirected to the nomination form.

Alternatively, the link to the form is

Nominations must include a supporting statement with each entry.

The closing date for entries is June 10.

We’d like to take a moment to talk about our Charity Partner the NSPCC.

The NSPCC makes a huge difference to the lives of the children and young people they support, particularly through their Childline Service which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to give children and young people a voice when no-one else is listening.

There are so many issues facing children and young people with Childline receiving a call from a young person every 45 seconds on average.

From these calls mental and emotional health and wellbeing remains a top concern for children and young people.

Every penny we raise will help Childline give children and young people the help they so desperately need.

Thank you all for helping us support such a vital charity.

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