Buxton teenagers organise spectacular summer prom after school declined to hold event over Covid fears

When a Buxton school shattered its final year students’ dream of a farewell prom, one took it up on herself to organise an alternative event to spectacular success.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 5:12 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd July 2021, 6:12 pm

Buxton Community School disappointed many of its year 11 students earlier this year when it decided not to hold the traditional post-GCSE event due to the uncertainties of Covid.

But Lani Allen, 16, was not going to let that stop her, and set about making her own arrangements with the help of friends Bella Anderson, Kira Boneham, Annabelle Fletcher, Zoe Taylor and Ayisha Borra

She said: “It’s something I’d been looking forward to since year seven, and I thought everyone deserved a chance just to say goodbye, as many of us won’t see each other again, and we’ve hardly seen each other all year.”

Buxton Community School students enjoyed one last night together at the Palace Hotel this week.

Lani initially contacted the whole year group with invitations but by the time the event arrived on Wednesday, July 21, a last minute wave of Covid app ‘pings’ had reduced the number to 67.

Along the way, Lani and her friends had to collect in ticket money from everyone, gather information on food requirements and award votes, and carry out logistical tasks like risk assessments. Even more impressive is that Lani did all this while completing her studies and working three jobs.

Mum Sara Allen said: “She’s been amazing, and so driven. She’s never organised anything on this scale before. I’m so proud.”

Gathering at the Palace Hotel in their finest suits and dresses, the students walked up the red carpet to enjoy a sit down meal, a night of dancing and an end-of-year awards presentation.

Lani Allen, second from left, and friends.

The finishing touches were applied courtesy of Rachel Lee at Renn Floristry who donated table arrangements, and Saskia Heywood who donated a balloon arch and doughnut wall, while the students were kept well protected, thanks to Lani’s police officer uncle Simon Oswin, grandma Sue Larson and other chaperones.

Lani, who is heading to Aquinas College in September to study French, law and environmental science, said: “It was so much better than I expected it to be. We’d planned everything out but it was the people who made it so amazing.

“Everyone really appreciated the opportunity. I’ll never forget the moment Dancing Queen came on and everyone was on the dancefloor.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Louise Cooper, editor.