WHEN Shannon told her friends and family that she would not be attending her school prom due to bullies, they were distraught.
Now, the community has come together to give her a night to remember – as she is given her very own prom night.
Shannon Purcifer, 16, suffers from ulcerative colitis, coeliac disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
If that wasn’t enough, her family says that she has spent the past 18 months being the target of bullies at school.
It was this bullying that convinced Shannon not to go to her own school prom at the end of term.
However, people from Gosport and the surrounding area have rallied behind Shannon and her family, and on Saturday night, she and her close friends went to St Vincent College for a special, community-organised prom night.
To kick the night off, Shannon and her family was escorted by around 150 motorbikes, coming from bike clubs across Gosport.
Graham Cott, 57, was the man behind the motorbikes. He said: ‘I heard about it through the Gosport Scooter Club – they contacted me about it.
‘I normally do funerals for Gosport bikers, so I put a few adverts on Facebook for it and everyone turned up.
‘We have about 150 bikers here tonight, which is a great turnout for a brilliant cause.’
Shannon was joined by the bikers, her close friends and her family for a photoshoot in Foster Gardens, before heading over to the college for the rest of the night.
Shannon said: ‘This is just the most amazing thing – to have everyone here this evening is just surreal. I can’t thank everyone enough.’
Kerry Kimber played a large part in organising the event. She said: ‘I put the original Facebook post on about Shannon because her mum put a picture up and it upset me to see that she wasn’t going to prom.
‘Everyone got involved – we’ve had people come across and done food, photographs, all sorts of thing – all free of charge.
‘It just feels amazing to have everything come together for Shannon like this.
‘To see her today with that smile on her face has been overwhelming, we are all really happy for her.