Words: Abbie Lyall

On 24th April, Leonard Cheshire Disability are hosting a fashion event in aid of their Go Digital Programme.

Leonard Cheshire are one of Scotland’s leading disability charities and social care providers, who support and encourage people to live their lives however they choose, whatever their ability. They go beyond just offering social care, by giving guidance and support on an array of subjects and by helping build confidence and introducing new digital skill sets that enable disabled people to find and keep employment. Leonard Cheshire recently became the first charity in Scotland to achieve accreditation for the coveted investors in People Platinum Award, which recognised excellent people management. Additionally, they achieved the Gold Standard of the Investors in Young People Good Practice Award and the Investors in Health & Wellbeing Good Practice Award.

 “A third of disabled people have never used the internet, compared to just 8% of non-disabled people - a ‘digital divide’ of 25%” – Leonard Cheshire.

All proceeds will go towards funding the expansion of their Go Digital programme, which enables disabled people to use revolutionary IT and assistive technology to help develop a range of digital skills. This in turn, increases their confidence and enables them to gain qualifications.  With proceeds from the fashion show, Leonard Cheshire will be expanding this life-changing programme across the West of Scotland.

Leonard Cheshire are also passionate about the inclusion of disabled people in the world of fashion, so will be using disabled models and models with additional support needs to showcase the pieces on the catwalk. There are an array of popular fashion brands and designers that are involved in this event, including Totty Rocks, CADARRA and Harris Tweed, who will all be showcasing their pieces on the night.

Totty Rocks

Totty Rocks is a popular independent womenswear fashion label and boutique situated in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh. They offer a unique, fashion forward range of women’s clothing, all designed and produced in Scotland. Their product range includes the bestselling Totty Rocks Mac, as well as trousers, blouses, skirts and dresses. Totty Rocks is aimed at style conscious women with an eye for quality and who want something different. The brand are extremely successful and have had many celebrity clients over the years, including Kate Moss and Gok Wan. Totty Rocks cater clothing for women of all shapes and sizes and will be showcasing some of their designs on the catwalk at the Leonard Cheshire fashion show.

“For us to be included in this event resonates because as a brand we completely believe in diversity and inclusion within all areas of life and for our part, fashion. We have a diverse customer base, we create clothing for all ages, genders and all shapes and sizes as our pieces are cut and made to measure for the individual based on their needs. We believe passionately in Leonard Cheshire as a charity and greatly appreciate the efforts and work that is done to improve and fulfil the lives of disabled people.” – Totty Rocks.


CADARRA is an Australian multiway fashion garment, designed by company owner and director Patsy Cadell, that can be styled in over 20 ways. The CADARRA was designed out of necessity resulting from inadequacies in the ‘wardrobe to go’ market. The garment has endless styling possibilities for women of every shape and size as shown in the company’s mission statement:

“MINIMISE your fashion stress, DOWNSIZE your fashion wardrobe, SIMPLIFY your fashion options. CADARRA provides the tools to enable women of all ages and body shapes to look and feel FASHONABLY FABULOUS, especially when travelling. CADARRA truly is your… EMERGENCY FASHION SURVIVIAL KIT”

CADARRA is currently sold online and at Sydney’s Paddington Markets each Saturday where Patsy conducts styling demonstrations throughout the day, like the ones she will conduct in aid of Leonard Cheshire on 25th April at the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow. As a result of its success in Australia, CADARRA will now be launching in the United Kingdom in five different colourways and will be available to view at the fashion show.

“7 years ago when I first designed CADARRA, I was working full time as a fundraising consultant, coordinating major events for charities. Previously I had been employed as fundraising manager with several major Australian charities including the Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, the Cancer Council and the Children's Medical Research Institute. Whenever I showcase CADARRA, I endeavour to include a fundraising component into the event. Regardless of their disability CADARRA suits all fashion-conscious women. A number of the styles can also easily adapt to suit those who are wheel chair bound, we should applaud these differences and the inner strength of those who cope so well despite their differences. When I was approached to feature CADARRA in the Glasgow fashion show for Leonard Cheshire in Scotland I was delighted and honoured to do so.  After researching the work of Leonard Cheshire Disability, I was even more willing to be involved. This trip is as a result of the Fashion Show organiser, Mary Leishman, visiting Paddington Markets at the end of last year and inviting me to participate. I have extended my time and will be doing styling workshop sessions and soirees through clients in the Cotswolds and Dublin as well. With the Glasgow Fashion show aiding Leonard Cheshire Disability, I am donating 10% from orders placed as a result of the Styling Workshop Sessions.” – Patsy at CADARRA

Harris Tweed

Harris Tweed Hebrides are working with Walker Slater for the Leonard Cheshire fashion show. Walker Slater will be supplying the garments as Harris Tweed is actually a cloth that is handwoven, dyed and finished by islanders in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. It is protected by the Harris Tweed act of Parliament 1993, which outlines the conditions in which the cloth can be genuinely made. Authentic Harris Tweed is recognised through the Harris Tweed Orb Mark, the UK’s oldest registered trademark, after inspection by the Harris Tweed Authority, the industry's governing body. Walker Slater sell a variety of genuine Harris Tweed pieces, in both menswear and womenswear and also accessories. The product range at Walker Slater also extends to non-Harris Tweed products such as shirts and jumpers and they get new product lines often.

Mark Hogarth, creative director of Harris Tweed Hebrides, said: "Fashion and style are for everybody and Harris Tweed Hebrides are proud to support Leonard Cheshire in putting forward an inclusive message. People with disabilities can participate both as consumers and as contributors. The fashion industry embraces a huge range of skills and the digital expertise which Leonard Cheshire is promoting through this event is relevant to fashion and design, as to many other sectors of the economy”.

The Leonard Cheshire fashion event will be showcasing each of these brands along with Serenity and Grace + Sarah Haran and will feature canapes, prosecco and a raffle draw. (www.leonardcheshire.org)

The Leonard Cheshire Fashion Event will start at 7pm at the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow on Wednesday 24th April. Tickets priced at £20 and are available from Eventbrite. (www.eventbrite.com)