From formal dinners to glitzy balls and even meeting royalty – Preston’s mayoress has enjoyed an action-packed year in office, and she’s done it all proudly wearing outfits bought only from charity shops!
Trisha Rollo’s favourite spot to bag a bargain is the bridal and occasion-wear department of the St Catherine’s Hospice shop in Lune Street, Preston city centre, and she loves telling everyone about some of the great deals she’s discovered, all whilst supporting an important local cause.
“I’ve always shopped at charity shops, and I used to go to my local St Catherine’s store in Ashton quite a bit,” she says. “When my husband Brian became mayor last year, I needed to stock up on nice outfits for all of the different functions and mayoral engagements, as I’m normally a jeans and t-shirt person!
“Previous female mayors told me all about the St Catherine’s shop in Lune Street, which they said is great for dresses and hats – I prefer trousers with nice tops and jackets so I can mix and match and wear them on more than one occasion, and it has it all! The first time I went in, I was amazed at the range of stock, and I got about five outfits in one go.
“I’ve even bagged a few brands like Jacques Vert and Condici, which is known for mother-of-the-bride outfits. I got a beautiful green Condici jacket which retail at around £1,000, for just £50! Normally the jackets from Lune Street are around £20, so it’s a great place to get a range of items for different events.
“I go to the shop about once a fortnight and it’s very rare that I don’t come away with something! The manager Kath also gives me a ring if she sees something which she thinks I’d like or which would be perfect for a particular event, such as a fascinator for when we went to the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace.”
From glamorous balls, charity fundraisers, and the opening of the new Preston Market, to greeting Prince Harry and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, when they visited Lancashire, Trisha has had an incredibly busy year, and credits the St Catherine’s shops for enabling her to step out in style, without breaking the bank.
“When our mayoral year comes to an end, I plan to donate some of the items back to the charity so they can be re-loved by someone else and raise more funds for the hospice,” she says. “But I have some favourites which I’m keen to keep!
“I enjoy telling people that my entire outfit is from a charity shop, and I’ve made sure to tell the other mayoresses to go to the Lune Street shop if they’re looking for something extra special. It’s a wonderful place to treat yourself whilst also supporting a great cause.
“I’d also recommend the St Catherine’s Superstore in Ribbleton for the amazing ‘Buy a Bag’ offer, where you can fill a large bag with clothing, shoes and accessories for just £10. I’ve bought some lovely tops from there, and I also found lots of pretty scarves which are perfect for adding a splash of colour.”
Rachel Watkinson, head of trading at St Catherine’s Hospice, says: “There’s something for everyone across our charity shops throughout Preston, Chorley and South Ribble. Along with the Lune Street store, our ladies’ boutiques in Fulwood, Penwortham and Longton are particularly good for occasion-wear and fancy frocks, and the Superstore is a fantastic place to revive your wardrobe with a collection of clothing for the whole family for a set price of £10.
“We’re delighted that Preston’s mayoress has so proudly shopped with us this last year and told all of her friends and acquaintances about the great quality, affordable outfits she’s put together with St Catherine’s.
“We’re very grateful to all of our fabulous supporters, from customers and those who donate to St Catherine’s, to our amazing volunteers who we simply couldn’t operate without. It all helps us to continue caring for local people with life-shortening illnesses like motor neurone disease and cancer, enabling them to have quality of life, to the end of life.”
To find your nearest St Catherine’s Hospice charity shop, click here.
See Trisha’s gallery, plus more outfits from our Lune Street shop: