STUDENTS at Swindon College took to the catwalk this week in a fashion show with a difference.
They were taking part in the Barclays Money Skills Week and were demonstrating that it is possible to look good without breaking the bank.
Each student was given £30 and sent out to buy themselves a smart outfit from anywhere they wanted, whether it be a high street chain or a charity shop.
All 12 taking part then had to strut their stuff in front of judges with the most stylish being selected as the winner and receiving £50 of vouchers.
The winner was business student 19-year-old Nida Altaf.
She said: “I was really excited to win. The college did one of these last year and my sister won so it was good to follow her.
“I bought all my clothes at high street shops and bought stuff which was on sale. When I heard the challenge I knew it would be possible to do it so I just had to look around.”
The fashion show was just one of a number of events which have been taking place at the college over the course of the week, which is designed to help raise students’ awareness of not only how to protect their money but also how to live frugally.
One of the other tasks involved buying food from cheap and expensive brands then getting students to see if they could taste the difference.
Jo Kelly, student engagement manager at the college, said: “This is a really good week for us because we have a real freedom in what we can do.
“It is one of the few times when we are given money directly to put on activities. Students from all courses have been getting involved and I think really enjoying it while learning an important lesson.
“The response for the fashion show has been fantastic from everyone across all different subjects. Often young people don’t get taught about the importance of money but this week I think we have raised the importance of knowing the value of it and how to save it.
“We have also had someone from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau come in to talk about keeping money safe so it has been a really positive week.”
Winners and judges, from left, Dani Boahema-Afrivie, Justin Tomlinson MP, Nida Altaf, Andrew Miller, college principal, Sara Colwell, and Maria Holohan, enterprise adviser from Outset
Among the judges was North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson, who said: “It is fantastic to see such enthusiasm from the students not only towards the show but also for financial education.
“It is something I am keen to promote so that young adults are equipped with the right knowledge.”