My place… Bridport — Chloe Evans-Lippett

chloe

I always describe myself as a mother to Amelia Rose, who is six, and wife to Tony: those are my first two jobs

I am 26, a singer-songwriter and a YouTube content creator. I have recorded an album, Songbird, with Steve Jones and I am working on new songs now.

I am basically a free spirit, an artist, all those creative words, that I want to put myself next to! My dad is the Bridport Team Rector, the Rev Canon Andrew Evans and my mum, Chris Newton Evans, runs Walk-in Wednesdays, part of the Cupboard Love foodbank scheme.

I am also a sufferer of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic connective tissue condition. A big part of who I am now is someone who raises awareness of that.

Why I love – Bridport

And I do love it! I came to West Bay with my grandparents. A friend had just passed away, it was a very, very painful time for me. But I instantly felt that this was the place I was supposed to be, where I was meant to live.

Tony and I came back on our honeymoon when I was seven months pregnant. We then came back again when Amelia Rose was six months old and every time we came, this desire to live here grew.

I remember praying: ‘You know what, God, if you want me here, you have to move my family!’

It was more than a desire; it was this feeling that this is where you are meant to be.

I remember praying: ‘You know what, God, if you want me here, you have to move my family!’

And it was when we were on holiday that Mum and Dad came down for the day and told us that Dad was applying for a job here!

So we lived with them for nearly 18 months and everything really started to fall into place when we moved to Bridport.

The people are amazing. There is such a strong feeling of community in the town.

The artistic and the music scene is amazing — the talent that there is living in Bridport!

And this is the place that I got really sick.

Life could have gone one of two ways. But the community in Bridport completely took us into their hearts and into their thoughts and their prayers and it has just been the most phenomenal place to be, through what could have been an awful time.

Where else in the world can a shop decide: ‘We’re going to have a hat festival!’ And everyone goes: ‘That’s a really good idea!’

And it will be totally embraced and there will be thousands of people walking round the town wearing hats. It’s totally bonkers!

We were really fortunate that we, as a family, were one of those things that were taken on by the people in the town, who are able to see beyond me and through my rather bubbly personality and into the illness.

Before I became disabled, Amelia and I — we were quite traditional — every day would do a little food shop, so we would go to the grocers, the butchers, the bakers to get what we needed.

And I love that I am living in a community where, for whatever reason, if she and I became separated, she would walk into a shop and they would say: ‘Amelia Rose, where’s Mummy?’ And they would instantly know who she was and who I was and what to do. There just aren’t many towns where children have that kind of security.

Bridport is so much fun. It is a very inspiring place to live and you can see so many people living their dreams, whether that’s to be a photographer, or a singer, or an artist, or to look after ancient documents or something. That’s a very special thing nowadays.

I also believe that there is a great acceptance. It isn’t all happy here.

There is a lot of poverty — and a tremendous amount of generosity.

Before Christmas from the Cupboard Love Foodbank we gave out a lot of stockings to local children, but we were able to put a lot in those stockings. And that’s where the two sides of the town meet, if you like.

I have this rather bonkers observation that Bridport draws in the people it wants — if it wants you, it is going to get you.

It gets under your skin

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

(EDS) is a collection of inherited conditions that fits into a larger group known as heritable disorders of connective tissue. Connective tissues provide support in skin, tendons, ligaments and bones.

There are different types of EDS, but they have features in common. These can include joint hypermobility (increased mobility of joints, often resulting in painful dislocations), stretchy skin and tissue fragility. The fragile skin and unstable joints often found in EDS are the result of faulty collagen.

See the Ehlers-Danlos Support UK website / Twitter / Facebook

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