COMMUNITY spirit has come through to beat the bullies, as a teenage girl sees her dreams come true for a magical prom this weekend.
Shannon Purcifer, a 16-year-old from Gosport, has been bullied throughout her final year at school, according to her family.
As a result, she made the decision not to go to her school prom, saying that she didn’t want to see the bullies again.
Shannon lost her father at the age of six, and was bullied by other pupils as she fought against ulcerative colitis – a bowel disease that inflames the colon.
Shannon has also been diagnosed with coeliac disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
On Saturday, Shannon will be escorted to her very own prom night, where more than 100 people – ranging from family and close friends to people who have pitched in for the evening – will join her for a night to remember.
Step-father Kevin Carstens says that the family wanted to do something for her after the tough year she has had.
He said: ‘After a year of being bullied she has done her best and kept up with her studies and we all think she has done really well in her GCSEs.
‘What we want from this is to show bullying should be a zero-tolerance action throughout all schools because it’s one of the worst things young people can go through and that good things happen to good people and that there are many selfless people in this world who care for people they have never met.’
Mr Carstens says that the whole community in Gosport has rallied around the prom, and that it is a great symbol of community spirit.
He explained: ‘Everyone has been coming to us offering a helping hand – from people offering refreshments and entertainment to others offering transportation and even venues.
‘It has been wonderful to see everything come together so nicely, and I think it has had a really positive effect on Shannon.
‘We cannot thank everyone enough for their kindness and support.’
Shannon’s mother, Claire, says that Shannon is really excited for her upcoming prom.
She said: ‘She is absolutely over the moon with it all.’