Three time Paralympic Gold Medallist Swimmer James Crisp helped raise awareness of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) at Royal Ascot on Thursday 16 June, as part of his capacity as Ambassador for The British Polio Fellowship. Hailing from the Woodthorpe/Arnold area of Nottingham, James was present to lend his support to the charity as it unveiled a show-stopping series of hats on Ladies’ Day in recognition of sports team momentous achievements this year, and in the process raise awareness of PPS.
Despite having a packed diary as he prepares and trains for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio from 7-18 September, James and his wife Katie, who wore one of the designer hats, were more than happy to put a few hours aside to help The British Polio Fellowship spread awareness of a condition which affects around 120,000 people in the UK. Ted Hill MBE, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship said he was extremely grateful to James for all his help and efforts with such a great cause.
“I’d like to personally extend my sincerest thanks to both James and his wife Katie for all of their efforts at Ladies’ Day,” said Ted. “Even as he prepares for the 2016 Summer Paralympics, James was able to help out and recognise the great cause we here at The British Polio Fellowship were spreading awareness of.”
PPS is a neurological condition affecting around 120,000 people in the UK, with a number of symptoms including severe reduction in stamina, fatigue, cold intolerance, trouble breathing and sleeping, and muscle weakness. Currently, only seven per cent of the British public are aware of PPS, despite it affecting the same number of people who live with Parkinson’s.
The British Polio Fellowship helps those living with PPS through support and advice, and over the past three years has simultaneously campaigned for them and accessibility in the fashion industry through a series of fashion campaigns. With ten sports team themed hats celebrating momentous achievements designed by milliner Janice Charles, the Ascot hats collection campaign follows a football memorabilia themed fashion collection from last year, as modelled by QVC presenter Julia Roberts and Premier League star Julian Speroni. Before that, the world’s first dress designed to be worn in a wheelchair was made entirely from train tickets, as modelled by Paralympian Anne Wafula-Strike.
“The help we receive from our Ambassadors is hugely appreciated,” said Ted. “James has helped out The British Polio Fellowship a number of times throughout his role, including a celebrity appearance at the charity’s Indoor Games, a celebration and coming together of members and sports held in Birmingham. Once again I’d like to thank him for all his hard work and to wish him all the best of luck in Rio this summer,” Ted concluded.