Stephen Fry tweets support for Swansea student charity fashion show

Celebrity Tweeter Stephen Fry has backed a fashion event by students at Swansea University in support of Asthma UK.

The QI host and actor has tweeted in support of the event which will be held at the city’s Grand Theatre this month and which is also being supported by retailers at the Quadrant Shopping Centre.

It’s the brainchild of economics student Lawrence Porter, 20, a lifelong asthma sufferer, and his girlfriend, fellow Swansea University student Rebecca Sirett who devastatingly lost her sister to the disease when she was a child.

The show will feature up to the minute styles from the Quadrant Centre’s USC store as well as retro and vintage gear and will be held at the theatre on Thursday, March 20 when goodie bags will be on offer which will include cosmetics from another Quadrant outlet, The Body Shop who will also do the hair and makeup for the student models at the show.

Lawrence said: “I thought of the idea last summer. I mentioned it to Becca and some of our friends and they all thought it a great plan. We later roped in our university fashion society and since then it’s just snowballed.

“I can’t tell you how grateful we are for all the support from our university colleagues and from outside, especially the stores who’ve been so keen to help.”

The Quadrant centre got on board almost immediately and Rosie Evans, Manager of the Body Shop, said: “We’re happy to support such a good cause and it’s great to see the city’s students getting involved in something like this.

“It should be a fabulous event and to have Stephen Fry supporting it is brilliant – I’m sure they will do very well.”

Rebecca Warlow, assistant manager at USC, said: “We’re delighted to be involved with the fashion show, especially in aid of such a worthy charity.

“Swansea is a real student city and they give it a buzzy, youthful vibe and I’m sure they will make the event really memorable.”

Lawrence said: “It’s great to have USC and the Body Shop on board and the support we’ve had from the Quadrant Shopping Centre has been invaluable.

“The theme for the show will be Student Style, combining the latest fashions from the likes of USC with retro and vintage gear. Students just love to mix up the two – it helps us eke out our money further!

“There’ll be some fabulous, trendy looks up there at affordable prices.”

Originally from Reading, Lawrence and his parents, Sian and Mark, who also suffers from asthma, have always had to live with the killer disease in the family and regularly turned to Asthma UK for information and support on coping with it.

“My attacks are far less frequent now, but I still have to use my inhaler every day,” said Lawrence.

As a result of their first-hand experiences both he and Rebecca have set themselves a goal of raising awareness about the dangers of sufferers not treating their condition seriously.

Biology student Rebecca, 20, and her parents, Kay and James, from Bromley, south east London, know only too well how insidious asthma can be.

Rebecca said: “Many people tend to downplay asthma and think they’ve not got it so bad. But they don’t realise how much of a danger it is.

“My sister died on bonfire night when I was eight and she was ten. Before that she’d never before had a big asthma attack; though her condition had been diagnosed, it was only as mild to moderate.

“But attacks can be provoked by the most unexpected triggers and can strike at any moment out of the blue. It’s so important people are aware it can be lethal.”

More than 1,000 people in the UK suffer asthma-associated deaths every year.

Among well known sufferers is actor and TV presenter Stephen Fry, who has been an advocate for Asthma UK since 1999.  He tweeted his support for the Swansea fashion show within hours of being contacted by one of the organising team, languages student, Lowri Evans, 20.

Lawrence said: “His support and that of the Quadrant Centre have been unbelievable boosts for us. We also has a grant from the Arts Foundation in Bristol and lots of good luck messages from other universities which have held fashion shows.

“This will be the first at Swansea but we hope to make it one of the best. I’m in my final year right now but I’m hoping the show will be taken on by future students and become a regular fixture of the Swansea calendar.”

As well as about 30 volunteer student models showing off snazzily put-together outfits, there will be additional attractions including music, fun live entertainment, sales stalls and one or two surprises.

“We’re not giving everything away yet, but it’ll be a great night, that’s for sure,” added Lawrence. “We aim to fill the theatre.”

Quadrant Shopping Centre Manager Ian Kirkpatrick said: “The Centre is very popular with students as we have plenty of stores here that appeal to them and so we have been delighted to back them.

“We have staged our own Student Fashion Night which started two years ago and we are always happy to get involved with events like this in the city.”

Tickets at £8 are on sale via the student union website,, and Swansea University’s Facebook page

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