Family and friends band together to make disabled Edinburgh schoolgirl's prom dream a reality

A disabled schoolgirl was set to miss out on attending prom – until her community and family pulled together to make her dream a reality.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 8:35 pm
Sophie Docherty is unaware of all the preparations towards her prom.
Sophie Docherty is unaware of all the preparations towards her prom.

Primary seven pupil Sophie Docherty, 11, from Royston has complex disabilities which require round-the-clock care and she has just graduated from Oaklands School.

But because she was the only P7-leaver the school had no plans to put on a dance to mark the occasion.

Mum Caroline Docherty, 39, was determined to give her daughter a “normal prom experience” just like her big sister Amanda had when she left primary school.

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She said: “Granton Primary School had their prom in June and Sophie was really excited by it. Sophie saw the other girls getting ready for their prom and she was asking them loads of questions about where they were going, what they were going to do, what time they were coming back.

“Oaklands couldn’t have a prom because Sophie was the only P7 leaver that year – I thought that was heartbreaking. Her sister Amanda had been explaining about the dress, the dancing and how she was going to be a princess.”

Mum decided that she was going to throw Sophie her very own prom, with P7 children from Oaklands, Braidburn School, and Granton Primary School all invited to the event which will take place in Royston Wardieburn Community Centre.

Unfortunately, Ms Docherty, who is a single parent and full-time carer for Sophie, is unable to afford the cost of hosting a prom herself.

But godmother Irene Guild is determined to help make Sophie’s dream and reality and has set up a GoFundMe page to raise the £1500 needed to put on the dance.

Since the GoFundMe page went live 24 hours ago 21 people have donated a total of £354. Caroline said Irene and herself have been “completely overwhelmed” by the support they have received and they “never thought it was going to get this big”.

Caroline said: “People have approached me in the street to offer help and donate earrings, jam for sandwiches and so many other things.

“I’ve got a big list of what I have to collect from everyone’s houses. And it’s not just from my area, people from Pilton, from Fife, and even Kent are getting in touch, everyone is getting behind the idea.

“It’s been completely overwhelming, it just makes me want to cry.”

Sophie’s prom will include a Cinderella-style horse and carriage ride, a glitter decorated ballroom will be kitted out with food donated by local people, a DJ and dance floor.

While they still need to raise over £1000 to fund the event, Mum is already picking out Sophie’s dress – a purple, puffy Cinderella dress.

She said: “Sophie doesn’t know about the prom yet, her friend Peter, ten, who she met at the Edinburgh taxi outing for children with special needs, is going to ask Sophie to the prom very soon. She’s going to be so excited.”

Anyone wanting to make a donation should go to gofundme.com/f/sophie-shall-go-to-the-prom