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The King’s Academy Reunion – Charlotte Robinson

A GLOBETROTTING fashion designer is heading down the runway on a trans-Atlantic voyage for a special school reunion.

Ex- King’s Academy student Charlotte Robinson will be flying in from New York to re-unite with hundreds of former students and teachers at the Coulby Newham school’s ten year anniversary celebration.

Charlotte RobinsonCharlotte, 19, who attended the Academy from 2005 to 2012 before taking a foundation degree in fashion at the London Metropolitan University, is now interning with contemporary New York fashion label Dylan & Rose at their head office on West 36th Street.

This week she is working back stage with the PR and marketing team for New York Fashion Week.

“New York is absolutely incredible,” said Charlotte, of Coulby Newham.

“It’s safe to say I am having the time of my life. I have learned so much about the industry, it’s just a dream come true. The best part of all is that I’ve been asked to come back and intern here again in the summer, so this year I will get to see New York in the snow and the sun.”

As well as studying for her degree and interning at Dylan & Rose, Charlotte has also set up her own on-line clothing company Hoes & Bows, with her partner.

“Setting up our own label was very ambitions and there were a few times that we felt like giving up after having created so much extra work for ourselves,” said Charlotte.

“We are currently concentrating on women’s wear but are starting to work on prints for t-shirts so we can get some menswear garments involved too and have an even broader customer range.

“The best part of all is when we get an order through from places like Glasgow and Kent – neither of us have any contacts there, so it means somebody actually wants to wear our clothes.

“I feel so lucky to be doing something I absolutely love day in day out and getting to meet new people who are incredibly talented and eager to encourage and support me in my career.”

The King’s Academy ten year reunion will give all former pupils and teachers the opportunity to catch up with old colleagues, renew friendships and find out what everyone has been doing since they left.

“It will be great to see everyone and find out what they have been up to,” added Charlotte.

“I have some great memories of The King’s and a lot of the teachers at the academy have been a huge influence in my life from Mrs Brownless, who helped me realise my passion for textiles, to Mrs Walker, a great listener throughout my seven years at the academy and who helped me with my dyslexia with some of the best drama lessons ever.

“I am really looking forward to going back and seeing them all.”

The King’s Academy tenth anniversary reunion is on Saturday, April 26 2014 at 3pm. To register your place or for more information visit

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Debt Awareness Week

STUDENTS are in an expert’s debt after being given sound advice on how to avoid the pitfalls surrounding money management.

During Debt Awareness Week, sixth formers at The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, were given an insight into personal budgeting as they prepare for life beyond the classroom.

North Yorkshire trustee of the national charity Community Money Advice, Susan Robinson, told the politics and economics students of the dangers of money mismanagement at a personal level and how easy it was to fall into debt.

“I have seen debt lead to ill health, relationship breakdowns, domestic abuse, prison and suicide,” said Susan, who also works with the New Life Baptist Church in Northallerton.

“I was just leaving the office and the phone went one day. I almost didn’t pick up but then thought I ought to. There was a man on the other end who told me he had his dressing gown cord around his neck and I was the only person he could think to ring. We talked for an hour and he is alive today – that is how desperate people become.”

She said in her time as a debt counsellor she had never met anyone who was in arrears because they had gone on a wild spending spree.

“It is more likely to be because of the death of a loved one, or the loss of their jobs, or they have learned bad spending habits from their parents,” she said.

“In personal, health and social education (PHSE) young people learn about sex education and issues around drink and drug abuse but nothing about budgeting or bank accounts. Yet everyone will have to handle money, while few become drug addicts.”

She told them that when she started working in banking, there was a culture that people could not have what they could not afford to buy. Today, everyone wanted everything now and worried about paying later, she said.

Loans were much easier to come by which made debt more difficult to control. Mrs Robinson also warned about payday loan companies with their high interest rates and logbook loans, where money is lent against the security of the borrower’s car.

“Becoming debt free changes people’s lives, but it requires commitment, determination and a change in spending habits,” she said.

Politics teacher Jenni Yuill said: “We hear about the country’s debt crisis again and again so it was great to meet someone who works with the issue on a daily basis.”

Sixth former Paige Cope added: “Debt is something we are all becoming increasingly aware of as we think about going to university. The prospect of student loans and having to manage your money is a bit scary so the timely advice we have been given today has been invaluable.”