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About Us

 Our Aims

‘Making life easier by making clothes work better’

Clothing comes in all shapes and sizes, but sometimes that is simply not enough! For people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties and the over 65's, finding clothes that reflect a personal style, fit well and are easy to take on or off, can be hard. To make life easier Dressability provides a low cost clothing adaptation and alteration service to people who need their clothes to fit well, feel comfortable and remain stylish. Whatever physical challenges you face, Dressability can help tailor your clothing so that getting dressed or being dressed becomes an everyday routine rather than a daily problem!

Dressability is one of only two independent clothing services in the UK which caters specifically for the needs of disabled people.

We work with other voluntary organisations, disability support groups, social workers and healthcare professionals. Because of our experience of clothing and disability, our advice has also been sought by the legal profession.

Dressability is a registered charity which has a board of trustees who are legally responsible for all the charity´s activities.


Trustees...

Chair of Trustees - Ann Blundell

I am, by qualification, a Chartered Secretary and via my job with Zurich, I was introduced to everyone at Dressability.  I was appointed as a Trustee in 2013.

Secretary -   Sharon Tombs     

I joined Dressability in June 2013. This was a wonderful opportunity to combine many years of business experience with a lifelong love of sewing. I enjoy working within this small committed team and find the work extremely rewarding.

Trustee Beryl FitzGerald

I have been connected with Dressability since its start up, firstly in a professional capacity i.e. referring clients to the service, and realising the difference it made to people's lives.

Trustee Louise Hunt 

I was born with a disability called Spina Bifida, and have been in a wheelchair my whole life. I have faced many challenges with my disability growing up, however sport has given me an outlet to break down barriers and prove to myself and others, that anything is possible not matter what obstacles you may have to overcome. I competed in the London 2012 Paralympic Games (in wheelchair tennis) and am currently ‘on the road to Rio’. I am having the most successful year of my career so far, this year reaching my highest ever international world ranking of 10 and competing in my first Grand slam at Wimbledon! Alongside being an athlete as well as being a trustee for Dressability, I do a lot of public speaking and work in schools as an athlete mentor, I have a real passion for change and enjoy working with young people especially to help them realise they can reach their potentials too with a little self belief and determination.

 Trustee -  Andy Stevenson

 I was born with no hands, very short arms and only one fully formed leg, so my relationship with Dressability began as a client in 2013 with the skilled team of dressmakers altering my shirt sleeves and putting free-running zips on my trousers. I became a Trustee in January 2015 and am eager to help the charity grow. The team do remarkable work and more people should know about them. I have worked in TV and Radio for over a decade and am looking forward to going to the Rio Paralympics with BBC Radio 5 Live as a reporter.

Trustee -  Tim Swinyard

Trustee - Nicholas Burns-Howell

I joined Dressability as Trustee in 2017 after being introduced to the great work of the team by a colleague. Working at Nationwide Building Society within External Relations, I hope to raise awareness about the difference Dressability makes to people’s lives each and every day.

Trustee - Heleana Bouyamourn

Trustee - Gail Light

I am a mother to lovely Shelley and Nana to two gorgeous grandchildren. I have worked for Swindon Borough Council in several jobs including the Link Centre, Delta Tennis Centre and Broome Manor Golf Club.   After a year at Broome Manor Golf Club I applied for a job in a new area of the council called Localities.  This gave me the grand title of Localities Facilitator!. My job was to help reduce the council budget by empowering residents to look after where they live and each other.  I thoroughly loved what I did and hopefully improved people’s lives. I was recently made redundant, so decided to take early retirement.  I fill my spare time being a Rotarian, sit on Down's syndrome group, mentor volunteers, keep-fit classes and socialising with friends. Of course now I can add a trustee to Dressibility. 


Team...

Sharon Tombs - Manager

Andrea Hawker - Fundraiser 

Debbie McKenzie - Administrator

Pam Chadwick - Dressmaker

Liza Lishman - Dressmaker

Elsa Heatley - Dressmaker

Angela Davidson - Dressmaker

 

Volunteers...

Jane  Cauldwell

Judy Farmer

Shirley Celano

John Spencer

Rose Bond

Tony Hand

Rosemary Morgan


History .....

Dressability started in 1998 as a six month pilot project with a part-time co-ordinator and 4 volunteer dressmakers operating on a shoestring from a spare room. A 3 year grant from The Big Lottery in January 2000 provided Dressability with the resources to become a full-time clothing service.

By 2006 the number of users had increased and we needed additional staff to cope with demand. A development grant from The Big Lottery enabled us to recruit a project worker to provide additional services for older people. 






        mail@dressability.org.uk

Charity number 1102083 | Registered company number 4777289
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