A catwalk show with a difference will take place during this year's York Fashion Week

SOME 65 children with a range of disabilities will take part in a fashion show at York's Grand Opera House on Saturday March 30 at 2.30pm.

Money from ticket sales will go towards Stimul8 which is seeking to raise £50,000 to build a leisure and training facility for disabled children and young people in York.

The fashion show is being organised by Ruth Thompson who is championing Stimul8 alongside her business partner Jo Rodwell.

Ruth also runs York Inspirational Kids (YIK), a support group for families who have a disabled child, and children from the group will be parading the latest fashions at the show.

YIK decided to get involved with York Fashion Week to prove to fashion designers, retailers and others in the fashion industry that disabled children also want to be fashionable but need a few adaptations to help them access everyday clothing.

Ruth said many items could be adjusted to make them more suitable for people with disabilities.

"Items can be fastened with Velcro or magnets instead of buttons," she said, while clothes can be made without seams or labels for people with sensory issues such as autism – something offered by Sainsbury's.

Some retailers, she said, already sell clothing for people with disabilities, but most of that is online rather than in the shops where they could see it and try it on.

She said Marks and Spencer was lending the group some of its disability range to model in the show.

And she hoped by taking part in York Fashion Week, the issue of clothing for disabled people would be highlighted. "Fashion is important to disabled people and they have the right to dress in the same way as their peers."

She said designers and retailers could make adjustment to fashion items so disabled people could be "trendy" too.

She said: "They need to have a different approach: using different fastenings and not always zips and buttons.

"Children in splints want fashionable shoes too – something that can go over their splint and not something that their 87-year-old grandma would wear."

She said retailers needed to think about the shopping experience for disabled people too.

"This is very much about awareness. Retailers need to think outside the box. They need to make it easier for wheelchair users to get into changing rooms and to allow people's carers to go in with them."

Jo agreed. "At the end of the day, they're just children who want to have fun and dress like their peers.

"If they need wider legs to help go over splints, higher waists or longer tee shirts to enable wheelchair users not to get cold then it really shouldn't be too much to ask.

"Just getting a wheelchair into some of the stores can be impossible.

"This fashion show will highlight these children's fashion needs and will showcase what some retailers are doing to accommodate them."

York Inspirational Kids Fashion Show, Grand Opera House York, Saturday March 30, 2.30pm. Tickets cost adults £5/children £2 from the Grand Opera House box office; or telephone: 0844 871 3024; or buy online: atgticketrs.com/york

York Fashion Week runs from March 25-31, check out the full programme at: yorkfashionweek.co.uk