On Saturday 25 July our Epsom campus will be hosting a wheelchair fashion showcase, in collaboration with young people’s charity, Whizz-Kidz, and inclusive fashion campaigners, Models of Diversity. The aim is to challenge commonly held perceptions of disabled people within the fashion industry.
The event will showcase customised T-shirts designed by wheelchair users aged 12-18 on the catwalk in Epsom’s Project Space. This project has been worked on by young wheelchair users who attend Whizz-Kidz' services. The public will have a chance to learn about the charity as well as the various youth clubs, wheelchair skills training, work placements and other services they run for wheelchair users in the South East.
The T-shirts were designed in workshops that we facilitated in the spring, and have been created using fabric paints. Each of the young wheelchair users involved had the freedom to create any design they wanted.
Olivia Williams, South East Regional Services Coordinator for Whizz-Kidz said: “the South East Wheelchair Fashion Showcase will enable young people that use our services to step outside their comfort zone and build their confidence. Their T-shirt designs represent who they are and the positive impact Whizz-Kidz has had on their lives.
“Without UCA we wouldn’t have been able to make this event come alive. The university has supported us across the board, with students leading workshops around the South East to pass on their knowledge and skills to our young people when creating their T-shirts. We are so grateful for their support.”
The fashion show will be jointly compered by the Chairman of the charity’s 'Kidz Board' – a student and holder of the British Empire Medal, and 28-year-old Arunima who has benefited from Whizz-Kidz' youth services and is now an investment banker, living independently in central London.
George, Chairman of Whizz-Kidz, explained: “I am where I am today because of Whizz-Kidz. They gave me my independence and freedom by providing me with an abundance of opportunities through their services. Because of this organisation, I’m a more rounded person, capable of getting a good job and having the life I want. I’m proud to be a part of this event and I hope it will inspire other young wheelchair users.”
At UCA we firmly believe that education should be accessible to all. Working with Whizz-Kidz on this innovative and exciting project allows us to demonstrate collaboration at its best, and showcase the limitless possibilities within the art and design sector.