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WESC Foundation and raining fashion at the Met Office

September 30, 2015


The Met Office is playing host to a fundraising fashion show for Exeter-based charity WESC Foundation (WESC), to help raise much needed funds for the charity’s ‘Communication Aids Appeal’.  Sponsored by ITEC Connect and compéred by popular broadcaster Judi Spiers, the event is being held on the 22nd October with John Lewis showcasing its autumn/winter 2015 collection featuring students at Exeter College as models, who will also be wearing their own designs.


L-R Andy Yeatman – Communications Manger, Met Office/ Jon Duckham – Fundraising Manager, WESC/ Judi Spiers/ Alan Clarke – Mercedes-Benz Exeter/ Paula Matthews – ITEC Connect

Andy Yeatman – Communications Manager – Met Office said: The weather will have big impact on what you wear over the autumn and winter and the Met Office tries to support the hard work of charities and community groups based around Exeter. Hosting this fashion show on behalf of WESC seems to tick both boxes and we look forward to welcoming organisers and guests on the night.”

On arrival, guests will enjoy a celebrity experience being escorted by chauffeured driven limos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Exeter from the car park to the Met Office entrance.  Guests will feel like real stars posing on the red carpet for the snap-happy paparazzi students from Exeter College before enjoying a champagne and canapé reception.

At the event there is a charity raffle plus an auction with fabulous high-value lots such as a three day charter for up to 11 people on board the luxury 86’ motor yacht ‘Lady Tatiana of London’.  Witty Judi Spiers and BBC programme ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ host Graham Barton will entertain as joint auctioneers, helping to raise further funds for WESC.


WESC Foundation, a school and college for children, young people and adults with sight loss is a specialist centre for Visual Impairment.  The charity’s aim is to develop its learners’ independence so that they can develop academically and socially, whatever their ability and expand their services to offer supported housing to a wider range of people with visual impairment and other disabilities.

Jon Duckham – Fundraising Manager – WESC said: “We are very excited about this year’s WESC fashion show which promises to be a showstopper and are very grateful to the Met Office for offering their unique venue to stage this.  There has been so much support for this fundraising event and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Judi Spiers, John Lewis, Exeter College, Mercedes-Benz Exeter and ITEC Connect. It will be a glittering and fun occasion, raising much needed funds for our Communication Aids Appeal.”          

Speaking about the importance of Communication Aids and how WESC will benefit from these much needed funds Flo Hanson, Speech and Language therapist at WESC FOUNDATION said: “Our learners here at WESC have a diverse range of speech, language and communication needs, therefore it is essential that our speech and language therapy department has a wide range of resources readily available to be able assess and facilitate all levels of communication. Many of our learners have difficulties speaking or are unable to speak therefore rely on other ways of speaking which we refer to as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). At present we have a limited range of communication aids that we can trial with our learners here on site.  We often, therefore, have to refer them to another service out of the area which is not ideal. By expanding our range and types of resources we have here at WESC, we will be able to provide a high quality service to meet the diverse and changing needs of all our learners and help them to find their voice.”


WESC Foundation Fashion Show – Thursday 22nd October 2015

Venue: Met Office – Fitzroy Road – Exeter EX2 3PB

Time: 6.30 – champagne reception – carriages – 9.30pm

Tickets: £10 in advance



WESC Foundation’s aim is to develop its learners’ independence so that they can develop academically and socially, whatever their ability.  WESC Foundation provides a personalised curriculum for each learner, which is designed to meet their individual learning and care needs and to encourage them to thrive and achieve in a supportive environment.  WESC will offer supported living tenancies and a menu of further options for young people to purchase such as training, therapies, education and work experience through partners such as Pluss and New Leaf, leading to supported, sustainable employment opportunities.


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