Before we start, just a quick note to say we know we’ve been a bit quiet on this front recently. We’ve had a few comings and goings over the last few months, so things have been a bit up in the air! But things are now falling nicely into place so, after this end-of-the-year round-up, we will be picking up our regular newsletters in 2019. So keep an eye out for all your favourite FTCT news!


In January, more than 1,000 new words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary – including ‘hangry’, one we can definitely relate to!

In fashion and textile news, men’s shorts were tipped to be one of the hot new trends of 2018. We must have missed that one!

In sad news, the parent company of Joe Bloggs and East went into administration, leading to 60 redundancies. Thankfully, we were subsequently able to support four of these former employees with grants.

In other FTCT news, Anna and Jill travelled up to Leicester to meet up with Louise, Senior People Advisor, as well as number of employees, from the Boden distribution in Leicester. This has been an ongoing partnership that we hope will continue into 2019 and beyond! Another relationship that flourished in January was that between us and Matalan. We’re delighted to have been able to work so closely with them to support a number of their employees.


In North Korea, the government launched a brand-new beer using an “exclusive” new brewing technique. Can’t say we’ve heard much more about that since, but maybe it’s a hit in its home country!

In fashion and textile news, our Patron, The Queen joined Anna Wintour at London Fashion Week. And didn’t she look lovely too?

On 7th February, the brilliant Charles Dickens Museum celebrated the great man’s birthday with this fascinating account of the great man’s birthday – some 150 years previously. Dickens was once our Chairman of Appeal and our most famous backer.


In March the world lost one of its greatest modern scientists when Stephen Hawking passed away. One intriguing aspect of his funeral was that he may have invited space travellers to pay their respects. Or it may just have been an administrative quirk. We may never know!

March was a very tough month for fashion retail, with New Look closing 60 stores to avoid administration. Next also announced its most challenging trading conditions for 20 years.

In happier news, Anna and Anita from FTCT attended the brilliant Textile Forum Fashion and Fabric Show on 15th and 16th March. As well as our famous raffle, we also met a lot of fantastic people from across the industry, many of whom we’re still in contact with now. If you’re going next year’s event in Marylebone, be sure to come and say hi!

A hot but proud Chris shows off his London Marathon medal!


In sport, The Commonwealth Games saw England’s netball team stun hosts Australia in the Gold Coast final. This led to the English netball team being named team of the year at the Sports Personality of the Year earlier this month.

In fashion news, Aintree’s Ladies’ Day saw the usual mix of the good, the bad and the, er, not so good in the fashion stakes.

April, as ever, was all about the London Marathon for us. We had two amazing runners, the brilliant Chris Grounds and Heidi Newman, braved the record high temperatures and raised more than £10,000 between them. What a fantastic effort! We still have places in next year’s London Marathon in case you or someone you know wants to make a head start on the New Year’s Resolutions!


GDPR frenzy rocked the UK in May, as everyone panicked to try and makes themselves compliant before the deadline. Still, at least we’ve all just been able to forget about it and move on since eh? *bursts into tears*

In the US, The Met Gala once again confirmed itself as the A-list fashion event of the year.

Closer to home, more brilliant fundraisers went the extra mile (or 10) for FTCT. Sophie Aldous, from Oasis in Farnham, and her friend Tasha ran the Superhero Run for us on 13th May.  Sophie, by her own accounts, “hates running”, so we couldn’t be more grateful for her efforts this year, raising £899 in total!

Sophie got inspired to fundraise for us after a talk from Anna in her workplace. If you’d like Anna to come and speak to your employees about the work we do, just get in touch at [email protected] and we’ll try and make it happen! Or if you’d like to know more about fundraising yourselves, check out our website and get involved. We’d love to have you on board!

Tasha and Sophie at the Superhero Run!


Donald Trump claimed an historic breakthrough after talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Although it’s not clear how many of those special beers he’d drunk at the time.

H&M responded to customer feedback by making female sizes larger, which will be especially useful after the Christmas period we’re having.

In less happy news, House of Fraser announced that 31 of its 59 stores were to close. Since then, we have been in close contact with House of Fraser’s management and managed to support a number of their staff.


England was gripped by World Cup fever in July, with football so nearly coming home! Though England didn’t win the cup, they certainly had a claim for best memes of the summer.

Also, who can forget England manager Gareth Southgate’s iconic waistcoats? Truly, a new fashion star was born.

FTCT had an exciting month, with a fire in the office leading to us being evacuated and rescued by the London Fire Brigade! Normal service was quickly resumed.


The world lost perhaps its greatest singer on 16th August, when Aretha Franklin sadly passed away. She gave people joy through her music right to the end, as an emotional Barack Obama shows here.

In more sad news, seven M&S stores closed in August. We have since supported a number of the retailer’s employees.

But it wasn’t all bad news in August. Here are FTCT Towers we were delighted to take delivery of our great new T-shirts, which we have been wearing at events ever since. We will continue to be wearing them with pride in 2019, so keep an eye out for us on the road!


In September the world’s most stylish sportsmen, golfers (ahem), fought for the biannual Ryder Cup. Europe came out on top against the USA in emphatic fashion.

In big fashion news, London Fashion Week pledged to go completely fur-free for the first time. The move was largely welcomed by those in the industry.

We were very excited and proud to once again be named ad the official charity partner at the Drapers Indie Awards! It was the first of two great events at which we partnered with the fashion retail publication. More about that later!

In fundraising news, Anna scaled Ben Nevis in September. It’s all part of her training to eventually take on the mighty Kilimanjaro in February 2019! You can follow Anna’s journey and sponsor her here. Good luck Anna!

Anna in her natural mountain environment!


Tragedy struck in October when a helicopter crash killed Leicester City Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others.

In fashion, there was good news for fashion retailer Oasis when Sainsbury’s announced it would house branches of the clothing retailer in its larger supermarket sites. Will this kind of arrangement become more commonplace as the high-street continues to evolve?

October was a great month for us. Firstly, we met even more of you lovely people at the year’s second Textile Forum! Secondly, we were thrilled when the indomitable Niki and Lisa from Sitting on a Sofa announced that they would donate £5 from every item they sell to FTCT. It’s such a wonderful gesture and we really can’t thank them enough.  


We couldn’t really find much world news from November. Apart from, er, Brexit? But we’re all bored of that so let’s move on…

Lots of questions were being asked about the sustainability of the fashion industry last month. Is this a theme that will continue into 2019? We certainly wouldn’t bet against it.

November was also when Drapers hosted their main awards, and once again we were more than proud to be the official charity partner. Anna gave a fantastic speech to a rapt audience, we raised almost £20,000 through the generosity of guests bidding in our silent auction, and we met even more fantastic people! Overall it was a brilliant night.

At this point we’d like to say a big thank you to all of the amazing volunteers who turn up to help us at events like this and many more. You’re all amazing and allow us to do so much more! If you would like to learn more about volunteering opportunities for you or your team, check out our website and get in touch!


Beleaguered footballing giants finally sacked Jose Mourinho this month after a long period of poor results. This one certainly led to a lively discussion at the FTCT Christmas Lunch!

A worrying end to the year for fashion brands, as even the mighty ASOS showed signs of vulnerability.

Whatever happens at ASOS and elsewhere, we will continue to be here in 2019 to support families with children from the fashion and textile industry who fall upon hard times.

Thank you!

Lastly, we just want to say a huge thank you to all of you, who continue to follow us, spread the word so that we can reach more families, and support us in numerous ways every year. We would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and we look forward to meeting even more of you in 2019!

If you would like to talk about working together in the New Year, and maybe even feature in the review of 2019 (!) get in touch with us here. We’d love to hear from you.