Wheelchair user Grace has ideal outfits thanks to vital organisation

By Barrie Hudson - 23 November 2021


A Swindon dad has praised local charity Dressability for altering clothes to suit the unique needs of his daughter.

Westmead-based Dressability, one of only two charities of its kind in the country, specialises in altering clothes to suit the needs of people with disabilities and mobility issues.

Chris Woolley is full of praise for the organisation after it helped his nine-year-old daughter, Grace, who uses a wheelchair.

Dressability's work has aided her mobility, dignity and ability to take part in everyday school life.

Chris said: "What Grace was born with was a condition called Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency. It's usually referred to as PFFD.

"It's a genetic condition. The main problem that Grace had when she was born was that she had no hips and no femurs - so she has very short legs.

"The big problem we had was that because of Grace's condition - she's bigger at the top - trying to find clothes off the shelf was a nightmare. She's nine years old but she wears tops for 13-year-olds and bottoms for six or seven-year-olds.

"That was where Dressability came into it. A lot of Grace's schoolfriends wear the school dress, whereas for Grace that was not an option because of how the dresses fit when Grace is in a wheelchair. It's not always suitable or comfortable for her.

"One of the ladies at Goddard Park suggested we contact Dressability, which we did. It kind of started from there."

One of Dressability's first projects for Grace was the creation of trousers with extra padding in the seat, as at the time Grace preferred to scoot about on her bottom.

Chris said: "They've also done some school dresses for Grace, making them more practical for her in the wheelchair - everyday things that we take for granted, such as going to the toilet, getting changed for PE, that kind of thing.

"The modifications that Dressability have made make it easier for Grace to live her life."

Chris now does all he can to help promote Dressability and its work, and urges people to help the charity if they are able.

He said: "They don't get the recognition that they deserve.

"They can take a problem and make that problem go away - and there aren't many people who can do that for a disabled person."

Dressability can be contacted on 01793 512878 and via www.dressability.org.uk

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