t: 07739 847964


26th Sep 2023
Blind model Lana Hempsall and her guide dog Zorin take to the catwalk at the charity fashion show

A sell-out charity fashion show held at a top Norfolk vineyard has raised over £1,500 for the county’s sight loss charity – having featured a blind model on the catwalk, complete with her guide dog.

Chet Valley Vineyard in Bergh Apton hosted over 50 fashion-lovers at their winery for the event, which showcased clothes from French fashion brand Elora and was raising funds for Vision Norfolk.

Among the amateur models taking to the catwalk was Lana Hempsall, who retains only around one per cent of her sight having been affected by Stargardt’s disease in her teenage years.  She was joined on the catwalk by labrador retriever Zorin, who has been her guide dog for the past five years.

“When I was 14 I thought becoming a model would solve all my problems and let me enjoy a glamorous life of fashion and travel,” said Lana, who is deputy cabinet member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport at Norfolk County Council.  “It’s taken me a long time to achieve that ambition of taking to the catwalk!

“I had a slight anxiety about how Zorin would manage, as he clearly hasn’t shared that long-held ambition to be a model.  It was a very alien environment for him, but he coped really well.

“I am really thrilled that the event raised so much money for Vision Norfolk.  I am really touched that so many people feel that supporting people with sight loss and their families is important.”

Bridget Hemmant, who runs Chet Valley Vineyard with her husband John and is also a consultant ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon, was another of the amateur models.  Mrs Hemmant is a trustee of Vision Norfolk.

“We are so grateful to Becky Greenfield from Elora for organising such a fantastic fashion show at the vineyard, and to all of the volunteers who made it happen.  Our models were also able to showcase some very glamorous eyewear which was lent to us by Dipple & Conway.”

The fashion show is part of a programme of events run by Chet Valley Vineyard in its winery and tasting rooms and in its outdoor wine meadow.  The next event will be a Friday Fizz and Pizza event on Friday 20th October.  Full details of all the events at the vineyard can be found at www.chetvineyard.co.uk.