The 14.5k-strong group called ‘Put Your Bins Out In Your Ballgown’ burst into sparkly life on World Down Syndrome Day 2020 when a group of friends found themselves all dressed-up with nowhere to go after the Great British Care Awards ceremony was cancelled due to the Corona Virus Pandemic.
Angie Emrys-Jones and Sandy Lawrence had won the regional awards earlier in 2019 for work with Time2Shine, a project that helps young adults with a learning and or physical disability get closer to work by handing over some of the responsibilities of running the charity they both run in Cornwall, and 20th March was due to be the glittering national finals.
Disappointed but not wanting to waste their posh frocks, the ladies and their board decided to wear their finery anyway on the big night, in their own homes instead of at the glitzy awards evening they had been excitedly anticipating.
The friends posted pictures of themselves in their outfits on social media saying ‘At least we’ll look good whilst we do the hoovering’
and had a fantastic response – so encouraged by her friend, Victoria Rogers in Australia, Angie decided to start a little Facebook group the next morning, thinking a handful of her Facebook friends would lark about in posh frocks for the weekend….4 weeks and over 14,000 members later the group is a global 24/7 refuse riot, full of smiling faces in wedding dresses released from years at the back of the wardrobe and escapism in the eyes of people being creative with whatever they have to hand to construct tinfoil tiaras.
‘I’d like my children to look back on this year as that summer of laughter because mum wore ballgowns most days to put the washing out, rather than a dark time full of PPE crisis and social distancing. The group admins regularly receive messages of thanks from members all over the world who say that the PYBOIYB group is keeping them going through tough times and that is something that we never expected but are thrilled by!’
Angie E-J x