The British Polio Fellowship is unveiling a range of sporting hats at Ladies’ Day Royal Ascot to raise awareness of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) and to mark this afternoon’s Euro 2016 fixture between England and Wales. The hats are being worn by the charity’s ambassadors: novelist and QVC presenter Julia Roberts, Katie Crisp, partner of Paralympian swimming gold medallist James Crisp, and Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike, MBE, as well as other members of the British Polio Fellowship team.
On this momentous day in the sporting calendar, specialist milliner Janice Charles has produced fourteen sports-themed couture hats will be revealed on Gold Cup Day on 16 June. Each design pays tribute to sports teams that play a significant role in British sport in 2016.
“The British Polio Fellowship has been running a number of campaigns in recent years to highlight accessibility for all and that includes in the world of fashion too,” said Ted Hill MBE, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship. “It is for this reason we are at Royal Ascot today, an event that has such an important fashion element. It is perfect for us to highlight PPS.”
“England playing Wales on Ladies Day was just too good an opportunity to miss,” added Ted. “2016 is a big sporting year with Ascot, the Euros and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. There has never been a better time to join forces with some of our sporting ambassadors and raise our hats to accessibility, fashion and of course PPS. Our England and Wales hats are the perfect way to wish both teams well for this afternoon’s big game.”
PPS occurs in 80 per cent of people that have had Polio, with symptoms including a severe reduction in stamina, cold intolerance and muscle pain. Research conducted by The British Polio Fellowship shows that only seven per cent of the British public have heard of PPS, despite it affecting the same number of people who have Parkinson’s disease.
“One of our goals here at The British Polio Fellowship is to look for innovative ways to raise awareness of PPS. We are also keen to champion at fashion being accessible to the ten million people in the UK living with a disability,” added Ted. “Janice Charles has done a fantastic job in ensuring we stand out from the crowd today and we hope the hats will spark a wider debate on some of these important issues.”
“This was a challenging and exciting brief and I am delighted to be here today to see the hats live at Ladies’ Day,” said Janice Charles, milliner and founder of the British label House of Charles. “Ensuring pieces will stand out amongst the high standard of Royal Ascot Gold Cup Day is a challenge for any milliner and I am proud to be involved.”
Over the past three years, The British Polio Fellowship has become a strong voice for accessible fashion, after its inaugural fashion campaign in June 2014 that saw the design and production of the world’s first dress to fully incorporate a wheelchair. Following the success of last year’s fashion campaign to raise awareness of PPS day 2015 (which featured an entire collection designed by designer Aleah Leigh and modelled by British Polio Fellowship Ambassadors Anne Wafula-Strike MBE and Julia Roberts of QVC fame, alongside Premier League star Julian Speroni), the charity wanted to make an even bigger impact this summer.
For further information about the British Polio Fellowship, visit www.britishpolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935.