A Garston hero was chosen to help celebrity fashion designer Julien Macdonald open the new Debenhams Watford store at the intu Watford shopping centre.
Megan Bowyer, 26, was selected to cut the ribbon that opened the new store on Thursday, September 27 following a call out for local residents to nominate a community hero who is an inspiration and has made a valuable contribution to society.
The Gossamers resident is an ambassador for Watford Workshop, a charity that provides work experience, skills training and employment for disabled and disadvantaged people.
Megan, who was born in Durban, South Africa, was struck by tragedy when she fell off her bike during a family holiday in the UK aged seven. The fall caused a massive brain haemorrhage and left her with a permanent disability.
Reflecting on the accident, Megan said: “In a split second, our lives and our plans for the future changed forever. I managed my disability through my schooling and enjoyed a full and happy life. It was only once I had left school that my disability became a problem as I could not get a job. The self-esteem and confidence I’d built up through my happy school years quickly shattered and my mental health suffered.”
Fortunately for Megan, Watford workshop saw her potential. She explained:
“Thankfully, I found Watford Workshop, a small charity that helps adults with disabilities by giving them work experience and training in both work and life skills. They saw the ability in my disability. I am so proud to be able to help them, and others, in my role as fundraising co-ordinator.
“I cannot thank Watford Workshop enough for the difference they have made to me and my life.”
Megan also thanked Gill Nightingale, a co-worker and friend who nominated her for ribbon cut.
Gill said: “Megan is the most inspirational person I have ever met. She is full of energy and is the most incredible ambassador for Watford Workshop. She has embraced the challenge of fundraising with a passion and professionalism that far exceeds her years.
“I admire everything that she has achieved. She is my hero.”
Designer Julien Macdonald was also impressed with Megan: “Megan is a very special person and it was a pleasure to open the new Debenhams Watford store alongside her. She is an inspiration and looked absolutely fabulous in her new outfit. I hope she enjoyed being pampered – she truly deserves it,” he said.
The new 86,000 square foot Debenhams Watford store is home to a mix of exclusive designer collaborations, own label and international brand fashion and home ranges alongside leading beauty brands.
The opening of Debenhams marks the first phase of intu Watford’s re-development – more retailers, restaurants, an IMAX cinema and Hollywood Bowl will all open before Christmas.
Picture courtesy of Peter Dale