Catwalk Capers is an annual charity event held to raise money on behalf of Yorkshire Cancer Research. Each year in Northallerton there is an incredible response from local companies and organisations who want to get involved with this really special night.
The criteria is simple – dress your team members with clothes purchased from charity shops for less than £25 per outfit. Each team should have a theme and will be scored on originality and creativity.
So, we at TKG decided to take up the challenge. To make it a real competition we put forward two teams – boys and girls. Those with a burning desire to strut their stuff on the catwalk put their names in a hat and the lucky ones were for the boys Scott Mills – Logistics Coordinator, Josh Haughney – KSO Sales Executive & Richard Boucher – KPO Senior Sales Executive. And for the girls Hazel Smart – Logistics Coordinator, Emily Hawksworth – KSO Sales Executive and me, Sarah Stokes – Group HR Manager. We had to decide on team names and music very early on, so the girls became The Olive Angels and the boys were The Kerfoot Cowboys.
Now, to say that we are a competitive lot is a slight understatement so the nearer we got to the night of the performance the more serious we became. There were lots of strategy meetings for the girls, sharing the items we’d purchased and ideas about how to personalise and customise the outfits. My sewing kit was put to good use, adding to and embellishing the outfits in line with our Military theme, which we managed to keep secret until the night of the show!
The boys themed leaked quite early on but they seemed quite confident that leaving it until the week before would work for them! They seemed to be having problems finding three pairs of cowboy boots in the local charity shops but in the end it didn’t matter, they all looked the part.
On the day we were a mixture of nerves and excitement, which really kicked in when we got to the venue and realised we would be using the services of a choreographer to make us look even more professional! The Olive Angles decided that we would go with the choreographers suggestion and bring us bang up to date with a full on Cheryl Cole dance routine to “Fight for this Love”! Hazel is a dance teacher but Emily and I are considerably less professional. After a small panic about timing and flexibility we simplified it slightly and then practiSed it everywhere – in the corridor, in the changing room, while getting our hair and makeup done… until we felt we’d mastered it.
We caught a glimpse of the Cowboys practising their routine and thought we had some stiff competition but were confident our polished performance could win the day. Back stage we started to meet the other teams and see their outfits. There was a Shrek theme, Truckers, James Bond, to name a few, and of course two teams inspired by 50 Shades of Grey! Once we saw the daring outfits one of these teams would be wearing we thought they’d be hard to beat, but undeterred we headed for the stage to give it our all.
The Olive Angels were 5th in the running order, just before The Kerfoot Cowboys. The Angels got (most of) the timing right and remembered all the steps, we could hear our friends and colleagues cheering even if we couldn’t see them in the theatre. We were really please but I don’t think Cheryl has anything to worry about! The Cowboys came on to the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and ended on Gangnam Style with a bit of Dallas in between! There was a gun fight and some dodgy dance moves but they got an incredible reaction as well.
At the interval we could go and see our supporters and got lots of praise for the outfits and the performance. We were able to watch the 2nd half in the theatre until we had to go and prepare for the big finale with all the teams on stage and, most importantly, the results. We all did a final parade around the stage and waited with baited breath for the results………there was no 2nd or 3rd place just straight into the winners, which was…….Fifty Shades of Grey! As we’d suspected their funny and daring outfits stole the show.
Even though we didn’t win we all had an incredible time, I really enjoyed the show and all the shopping and sewing leading up to it. It is incredible the treasures you can find hidden away in charity shops. We had fun supporting a fantastic cause and it certainly gave everyone who saw the show from Kerfoot HQ a really good laugh. Those that couldn’t make it were able to watch footage taken on the night so our infamy has spread! I’m so pleased The Kerfoot Group got involved; I’m looking forward to next year already.
Sarah Stokes, Group HR Manager (an Olive Angel!)