Style guru Jo creates hits for the runway

WOKING & Sam Beare Hospices charity shop Manager Jo Marsh spent a day surrounded by fab fashion items at a pop-up shop at Old Street Underground Station in London recently.

The styling event was part a week-long publicity stunt organised by The Charity Retail Association, which aimed to raise the profile of the humble charity shop – including the hospices’ 17 Surrey outlets – among the younger generation.

Professional stylists working or volunteering in charity shops all over the country were selected to participate, based on the quality of a series of outfits they had been posting to the social network site Instagram in the weeks leading up to the unique event.

Jo’s background of stylist training and many years of high street retail experience, alongside a top quality portfolio, were more than enough to mark her out as a fashion guru, beating off competition from some of the UK’s largest charities.

The day was busy and buzzing, with people coming in for pre-booked appointments or just dropping in.

They were able to have a complete makeover with a new look in fashion, make-up and nails, all offered for free. At the end of their session they were given the chance to buy the outfit picked out for them. All the clothes were supplied by participating charity shops.

Speaking about her day’s experience, Jo beamed: “It was a real challenge because I had no idea what shape or size the next person would be, and my job was to inspire them just with what was out on display, mirroring a real charity shop.

“Everyone seemed really happy with their outfits and were buying the clothes I picked for them. I also had an excellent opportunity to talk more about Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, the work they do and the shops we have around the county.

“It was great to be able to demonstrate that not all charity shops are filled with unfashionable, outdated clothing; we get really attractive pieces. And many of our volunteers have professional retail experience and are now donating their time because they support the charity and want to give something back to the community.

“I hope the event takes place next year and is bigger and better with even more choice to offer customers.”

For the latest on the hospices and upcoming events, simply go online to

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