Next steps to help others will be along UCCA’s autumn catwalk

A highlight from the UCCA spring fashion show - the next one is scheduled for autumn
A highlight from the UCCA spring fashion show - the next one is scheduled for autumn

An upper valley group set up to help other charities, organisations and individuals will soon be treading the catwalk to showcase autumn fashions in a major fundraiser.

Upper Calder Charities Assist (UCCA) holds two of the shows a year and, following a busy spring one, it is gearing up for the Halloween themed event which will be held in the first week of November.

For the past 12 months UCCA volunteers have been extremely busy, as one of its founders, Shirley Fielder, explains.

“Local groups are always looking for funding and some are just too small, or too inexperienced, to know how to go about it.

“We fill a gap for those types of groups. We can help by offering them know-how and small amounts of independent funding for much needed projects and items,” she said.

Shirley said it was people helping people, with younger generations also getting involved. “We have provided toys for children’s centres, equipment for offices in community projects and gifted funds to families in need.

“We also offer a very low cost meeting space with office facilities and with parking in the centre of Todmorden. It’s funded by a lottery grant to provide low prices for a place for social enterprise groups to meet in. Our initial vision was to offer a clearing house for small groups who are having difficulty surviving the recession while they are still deeply dedicated to their work,” she said.

An annual dinner dance event is also planned but all eyes will be on the catwalk for a night which often raises around £2,000 to help UCCA continue its work.

The 2012 shows helped families in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd who had suffered flooding.

One volunteer model at the spring show said having decided to move to Todmorden something happened to prove his feeling that the area was something special, when a house purchase fell through.

“Through Todmorden’s incredibly fast grapevine someone had heard of our dilemma. Problem solved, we were invited to stay at their place, dogs and all, until we could pick up the keys. That type of community spirit is rare,” he said.