Launch of imaginative dresses project

THE Mayor of Wells, Councillor Tanys Pullin, launched her mayoral year charity project The Mayor’s New Clothes at Wells Town Hall on June 29.

The project involves transforming used wedding dresses into beautiful ballgowns which will eventually be auctioned in aid of the Mayor’s chosen charities, Heads Up and Whizz-Kidz.

More than 70 people attended the launch event to see some of the wedding dresses at the start of their transformation, and study the mood boards provided by the people working on them.

Cllr Pullin said that everything she wears is from a charity shop, or preloved or borrowed, and explained that the project had started with one dress that she refashioned, which had attracted interest from others who then wanted to work on dresses as well.

Once the dresses are completed, they will be exhibited around Wells, before featuring at a fashion show in the Cathedral in January, and being auctioned off at a special gala event in the Town Hall in February.

Cllr Pullin said that if she manages to raise £150,000, then she will stay in Penniless Porch for a week to help draw attention to the plight of the homeless and people with mental health issues. She said these are issues which she is passionate about, and that the two often go hand-in-hand.

Heads Up trustee Vanessa Gordon told the audience at the launch event about the work that the mental health and wellbeing charity does from its base in South Horrington, such as creative activity workshops, and about the dress it is creating for the project.

The other mayoral charity, Whizz-Kidz, provides disabled children with the essential wheelchairs and other mobility equipment they need to lead fun and active childhoods.

Others at the event included Karen Bell of AMBA who said that she will be turning a wedding dress into a prom dress “that some young girl can wear and feel like a million dollars”.

Judith Shorrocks, manager of the Sue Ryder charity shop in Shepton Mallet, said that her store has a special section for wedding dresses, and she will be inviting people to create hearts that can be sewn on to one such dress for the project.

There is still time for groups, individuals and businesses to register to transform a dress, which have to be completed by October 16. The dresses must have a train (extra material can be added); any medium, material or craft can be used; and the dress must be suitable for public display.

Businesses that would like to get involved but cannot work on a dress themselves can sponsor a dress, and they will be paired with a group that can facilitate its creation. Cllr Pullin is also happy for groups to make an appointment to visit the Mayor’s Parlour in the Town Hall for coffee and the chance to colour a dress with felt pen, and be part of her “crazy dress project”. Email

Donations to The Mayor’s New Clothes project can be made by bank transfer: Tanys Pullin – Mayors New Clothes, sort code 209940, account number 33890732, or by leaving an envelope at the reception desk at Wells Town Hall. For more information, contact Cllr Pullin: or 07976 756108.