Lyndsey Huckerby strikes a pose to help a good cause
It's time to indulge that passion for fashion for a good cause. On May 5, models will be sashaying down the catwalk at the Assembly House in Norwich to raise money for the Darren Huckerby Trust. EMMA LEE finds out more.
It promises to be a night out to remember for anyone with a passion for fashion. On May 5, some of Norwich's top retailers, hair and make-up artists will be coming together to put on a catwalk show to raise money for the Darren Huckerby Trust.
Last year, the former Canaries star set up the charity with the aim of helping local good causes. It launched in October with a golf day and charity ball on the outskirts of Norwich.
The fashion show is their next big fundraiser, which is being organised by Darren's wife, Lyndsey, along with her friend Natalie Shaw.
Norwich is one of the country's top shopping destinations, and the fashion show will be a celebration of the city's vibrant mix of independent stores – from high-end designer to vintage insipred. Jarrold's will be doing a women's and men's show and the boutiques involved include Daisy and Lola's, Pure, Elements, Love Couture, Vanilla and Ginger.
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'The idea was to do something for the ladies after the golf day,' Lyndsey says. 'We've been planning it since November.'
And everyone involved in the event loves fashion.
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'Norwich has become really fashionable,' says Natalie.
'Darren's got a great eye for fashion – they both love fashion. Lyndsey's a rock chick,' she says.
Well-known TV personality Kevin Piper will be hosting the show and they are grateful for the expertise of Norwich fashion stylist Chrissi Rix, who is helping them with the organisation.
'Chrissi has just got everybody involved. She's been brilliant,' says Lyndsey.
Eye-catching posters for the fashion show are going up all over the city, which features a picture by photographer Lee Blanchflower. Natalie let's a secret slip.
'It's my handbag, but her legs,' she says, gesturing towards Lyndsey.
Lyndsey and Natalie met because their children are at the same school. Natalie says it's touching how people have so eagerly come on board to help out with the fashion show.
'I don't like football at all,' she laughs. 'I met Darren and Lyndsey and started going to their lounge on Saturday, we'd be having a lovely time and then it would be spoiled by having to go outside and watch the football. So we wanted to do something for the girls. We both love fashion and that's where it started. We spoke to a few people and they were all quite enthusiastic and happy to join in.
'It's an excuse for the ladies to dress up and raise some money for a great cause. And there's some great prizes lined up for the raffle.'
Lyndsey met Darren when he was a trainee at Lincoln City – Lyndsey is originally from Lincoln. In his career, the Nottingham-born footballer also played for Newcastle United, Coventry City, Leeds United and Millwall and moved to Carrow Road permanently from Manchester City in 2003. And Norwich, where he made 203 appearances for the Canaries and scored 48 goals, felt like home.
'I did love watching Darren play,' says Lyndsey.
'Even when he was on loan, the club was so lovely. It's a brilliant family club and we just decided that we didn't want to leave. We both really love it here.'
They have two sons, aged 11 and nine who are both sports mad. One seems to be following in his dad's footsteps and is at the City Academy and the other loves rugby. The family stayed in the city while Darren did a stint with the San Jose Earthquakes.
'Darren came back from America and had just had this idea to set up this charity – I don't know where it came from.
'He set it up to help smaller charities in the Norfolk area, ones that don't get much press coverage and support. We've tried to support varied causes,' she says.
The charities the trust has helped so far include Hana's Gift, a charity which helps the bereaved parents of stillborn children, Aspergers East Anglia, the Norwich City Powerchair football team and a hedgehog rescue centre. Darren has also become a regular blood donor and the trust sponsored the Blue Moon Walk for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
'And at Christmas we visited the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and gave out presents. It's gone well so far, as we only started in October,' Lyndsey says.
'It's amazing how Darren touches people's lives – he can make somebody's day – people really do look up to him. He's a great role model, a family man, he's got time for everybody,' adds Natalie.
So will Darren be taking to the runway and striking a pose on May 5?
'Oh no, he's not allowed,' Lyndsey laughs.
The Darren Huckerby Trust Fashion Show is being held at the Assembly House, Norwich, on Thursday, May 5 at 7pm. Tickets cost �20 (�25 for VIP tickets which includes a goodie bag) and are available from Love Couture, Ginger, Vanilla, Pure and Daisy and Lola's in Norwich.