This year’s Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) Day campaign (22 October), received a welcome boost on Saturday 17 October as charity ambassadors, VIPs, and stars of the Premier League gather for a unique fashion photo call and video shoot at half time (3.45 pm) during the game between Crystal Palace and West Ham United – all in aid of The British Polio Fellowship.
Charity ambassadors including Team GB Paralympian Anne Wafula-Strike, MBE and QVC presenter (and Eagles fan) Julia Roberts, plus Team GB Paralympian swimming silver medalist James Crisp and his wife Katie will be among those modelling a unique fashion collection crafted using football media by designer Aleah Leigh.
Premier league goalkeeper Julian Speroni together with Eagles and England legend John Salako are leading lights in a fashion new video that will be shown at half time explaining more about the campaign and its aims. The video will also be shown at the Welsh Assembly on PPS Day itself, 22 October.
A link to the video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrIipBMf9nw
The fashion collection is part of an initiative being driven by The British Polio Fellowship to raise awareness of the needs of 120,000 people living with PPS, and the needs of people with disabilities generally. In 2014, the first dress designed to cover a wheelchair and made entirely out of train tickets modelled by Anne Wafula-Strike made news worldwide and started a wider debate concerning disabled fashion.
The collection includes a mix of pieces suitable for people of varying mobility, including garments for men and women, developing last year’s theme to be even more inclusive and eye-catching and addressing wider issues of disability and fashion. While this year’s collection has been designed as wearable fashion, there may be another surprise on the day in the form of another statement garment created entirely out of football tickets and other media.
“I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this year’s fashion initiative such a success,” said CEO of The British Polio Fellowship, Ted Hill MBE. “Anne and Julia have given of their time to model a collection for able and disabled alike. Our aim is to demonstrate inclusivity through fashion and that disability should not be a bar to accessibility or fashion. Crystal Palace Football Club, Julian Speroni and a host of other clubs have also given of their time (and tickets!) and support to this campaign. Today’s professional footballers do come in for a lot of criticism and this event demonstrates that many of them, together with their clubs and supporters do very valuable work for charity.”
In addition to the backing of Crystal Palace and West Ham, the British Polio Fellowship has put on record its thanks to premier league stars past and present for their support, including Eagles and England legend John Salako for his work on the video; while Kent County Cricket Club generously allowed the use of their facilities.
“Today’s fashion event will hopefully be fun but there is also a more serious side,” added Ted. “Anne, Julia and James all live with Polio and we wanted to show that fashion is for all and that independence and a normal life are possible with the right help and support. “This campaign is important because we’re sending a message out to the world: being differently abled doesn’t exclude you from creativity, fashion, or football – in fact it can inspire it! We do hope the football fans will get behind us on the 17 October.”
This fashion campaign is just one part of events to mark PPS Day this year. On the 22 October, Mark Isherwood AM will be hosting The British Polio Fellowship at the Welsh Assembly, while several iconic landmarks throughout Britain are all changing their floodlights to display the charity’s colours to mark PPS Day.
The British Polio Fellowship is a charity dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering those in the UK living with the late effects of Polio and PPS. For more details or information on The British Polio Fellowship, call us on 0800 043 1935, email at email@example.com or visit the website at www.britishpolio.org.uk