A teenage girl and her mother have launched a major social media campaign to find her GCSE coursework after it was accidentally sold in a charity shop for just £5.
Year 11 student Grace McCallum spent months crafting a Mini Mouse inspired dress for her product design GCSE course, with the outfit counting for 60% of her final grade.
But disaster struck when the dress was displayed in the Disbury Cancer Research UK shop as part of a local arts festival - only to be sold by an unsuspecting volunteer.
“Grace saw it in the shop on the Friday,” McCallum’s mum Clair Leech told HuffPost UK.
“But we both went on Saturday to see it and it was gone.”
After ringing the store, which was closed at the time, the pair found out that the outfit had been sold.
“Grace wasn’t asked if the dress could be displayed,” Leech continued.
“The dress was sold by a volunteer, which wasn’t done on purpose. But Grace was upset as she doesn’t know as yet if her piece was marked before it went on display.”
The mother and daughter duo have now launched a huge search to find the dress before McCallum’s course ends in a month.
Since Leech posted a photo of the dress on Facebook begging people to get in touch, the family’s campaign has been shared more than 2,700 times.
A woman named Emma replied: “Just reading this from Australia... if it’s reached me surely it can reach the accidental purchaser by end of the weekend. Fingers crossed for you and your girl.”
Another added: “I’m an artist, and would have been devastated if something like this had happened to me when I was 16!”
The search received a further boost when comedian Jason Manford retweeted a call to action to find the project to his 255,000 followers.
“I just hope someone sees it and hands it back - even if they do it anonymously,” Leech added.
A spokesperson for Cancer Research UK said McCallum’s dress was “mistakenly sold by one of our volunteers who thought it was part of our stock”.
“As soon as we realised the error we did everything we could to try to trace the item,” they said.
“We’ve put up a poster in our shop window urging the customer who bought it to return it in exchange for a full refund and have been asking all our customers to spread the word.
“We are in contact with the lady whose daughter designed the dress and we really hope it will be returned as soon as possible. We apologise profusely for any upset caused.”