Cherished Gowns UK was founded in September 2014 when our Founder created a gown for a local bereaved Mother from her Wedding Dress. She shared this gown with her Midwife who was very keen for us to offer our gown packs to their hospital. We worked hard to develop our patterns and established 5 sizes of gowns, 3 sizes of nappies and co-coordinating knitted and crochet items to create a perfect outfit for each size. We made it our mission to make our service not only completely free of charge but available to every Hospital, parent and funeral director in the UK.

By April 2015 we had recruited 400 volunteers around the country and had supplied 75 hospitals with our service. We had a steady supply of Wedding dresses being donated and our volunteer seamstresses worked quickly through them. The media began to take notice of our charity and our mission, and various newspapers ran stories on our project, and in January 2016 we officially went viral. A lady called Yvonne Trimble donated her wedding dress to us and she posted about the Cherished gowns we created from her dress on her Facebook account. This post was shared over 1 million times and every UK newspaper ran a story on our charity. We recieved over 20,000 emails in just 24hrs and 10,000 people joined our waiting list to donate a dress overnight. 

As a result of all of the media attention we had some significant financial donations and this allowed us to rent a small office to store our items and recruit volunteers to build our clothing packs and hospital boxes. This space allowed us to grow our charity and in February 2016 we achieved our mission to supply every UK hospital with our service, as well as sending Cherished gowns packs directly to parents and funeral directors on request. Since then we have continued to grow and moved in to a larger office, secured contracts giving us low cost postage of our hospitals boxes, and we successfully achieved full Charity status with Charity Commission on the 7th April 2017. 

Three years on from when we were founded we have achieved an incredible amount, we were the winners of a Butterfly Award for Most Media Impact, a People of Dover Community Award for Voluntary work, and a Turley Community Award. We have a dedicated group of around 1,000 volunteers that work to create the items that go in to our Cherished Gowns packs, and to date have transformed almost 20,000 wedding dresses and created over a quarter of a million items.

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