Saturday, 28 March 2015

A Trip To London!

At work we have been to London for the weekend a few times now - each time the weekend has got easier with experience! (although the first weekend away was a complete failure due to every road being shut because of a marathon taking place as part of the Olympics!)

When we go to london we take the mini bus as we have special equipment such a hoists to take with us so public transport is a big no go! Not many hotels in london have parking suitable for our type of vehicle as most car parks are under ground but we discovered Travelodge in Southwark has a private parking bit next door for disabled vehicles. Its a very tight squeeze but it is doable and the car park is locked so the vehicles will be secure - you have to pop up to reception to get the key. The rooms in the hotel are not the biggest but with a bit of rearrangement of the furniture theres enough room to move around. the address for southwark travelodge is:

Travelodge London Central Southwark Hotel

202 - 206 Union Street

We was a bit worried when heading to london as the tubes are not suitable for people in wheelchairs but we discovered that all black cabs can actually be altered to fit wheelchairs in the back and they have all the clips and seatbelts to make sure you are in safe. All the taxi drivers we had were so helpful and made sure the ramp into the taxi was safe and secure and they all double checked the wheelchair was strapped in safely before driving off.

photo credit:

One of our favourite things to do in London is to see a musical! So far we have seen Mamma Mia and Dirty Dancing. Both theatres were accessible for wheelchairs with seprate entrances round the side. When we saw Mamma Mia we got taken round to the side entrance by a very helpful staff member where we used a private lift to get to where was sat but once the show was over we discovered the lift had broke! The staff were extremely helpful and quickly got a makeshift ramp sorted out - whilst all this drama was happening, the staff distracted the lady I was supporting so she didn't panic - at one point about 10 staff members were all singing Abba songs with her! (i was gutted when they sorted the ramp as we were having so much fun haha!) The seats we had for Mamma Mia were really good and the carers got free tickets.
When we saw Dirty Dancing we were taken round the side door again and into one of the boxes facing the side of the stage - at first we thought we had a really good view but once it started we realised we couldnt see half the stage. At this point we couldn't find a staff member to help us so I wrote a tweet about the show and not being able to see and randomly the bloke playing the lead in Dirty Dancing that night saw the tweet during the interval and got staff to move us! Hurrah! Once again the carers got free tickets for the show.
photo credits:
Another couple of fun attractions in London is the London Eye and the London Eye river cruise. Both of these attractions are suitable for wheelchair users with the chance for one carer to go on for free. When arriving to go on the London Eye, staff will slow down the pods or if required they will even stop it to make boarding easier. The pods on the London Eye are huge so plenty of room once on there to move round freely to take in all the stunning views. The river cruise is also incredibly easy for wheelchair users to get on and off and there is always plenty of staff on hand to help.Once on board the board there is adequate room to move around but the boats can get very busy!
The London Eye website has a very helpful page with all the information and prices for both attractions for visitors who need assistant: London Eye disabled guide
photo credits: My own / 

We have also visited Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park but I will write a separate blog for that as there is alot to tell!

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Tank Museum - Bovington Dorset

The Tank Museum located in Bovington Army Base in Dorset is the perfect day out when the weather has turned a bit rubbish!

The Tank Museum is perfect for all ages and for a family day out which is not only fun but is also very educational. The quietest time to visit is during the week which gives you more opportunity to wander round at your own pace and read all the facts relating to the tanks. At certain times of the year The Tank Museum holds special events so its best to keep checking the website to see what they have on.The last time we visited they had people doing talks on the different sorts of camouflage used in wars. To check whats on click here:

The Tank Museum is set over a couple of floors taking you through a journey of the different wars starting from 1915 right through to the present day with a large exhibition on life in Afghanistan - there is even a chance to try on some of the uniforms!
Their latest exhibition is all about the feature film 'Fury' starring Brad Pitt. For the film several of the tanks were used on set - the exhibition has loads of photos of the film being shot and even some of the set on display. Brad Pitt recently visited the Tank Museum for a look round (we missed him by a couple of days...i was gutted!!!)

Photo credit:

The Tank Museum also have a exhibition on War Horse with tales from the horses used in the wars.

The Tank Museum is very accommodating for people who require wheelchairs - The floors are all very even and plenty of room in all the exhibitions with lifts to all floors and the restaurant and cafe is very spacious with plenty of room to move around. The only part we struggled a bit for room was the gift shop which has quite small aisles but we still managed to squeeze around to purchase some souvenirs. The Tank Museum also has a very good car park very close to the entrance with loads of wide disabled spots - we've never not been able to park in one of these spots!

The admission fee to get into The Tank Museum is very reasonable too as its a whole days worth of exhibitions to look at so you definitely get your moneys worth. For information on prices please click here: Carers get a discounted rate.

I highly recommend visiting!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Abbotsbury Swannery

Last year I decided to take the disabled man I support to Abbotsbury Swannery near Weymouth, Dorset and it was one of the best days we've had! I did alot of research online first to make sure the place would be suitable for a wheelchair and the website was very helpful with loads of information ( so on a lovely sunny morning we headed out on the hour drive.

Once you arrive at the Swannery there's a car park near the gift shop but if you have a blue badge you can get a key from the gift shop to open to gate the drive right up to the entrance of the swannery which is very helpful!

Once in you can walk down a little path next to a small river which is very relaxing! The ground can be a little bumpy at times but I managed fine with the wheelchair -just need a bit of upper arm strength!! As you follow the path you start to notice swans everywhere! At first we were petrified as they are huge but if you stay away from them, they are absolutely fine! It was quite quiet when we went as it was midweek - this seems to be the best time to visit. As it was quiet we were able to take our time strolling round and watching the swans build their nests which was really interesting to watch and then came the really fun bit.....feeding the swans! The workers there asked anyone who wanted to feed the swans to come forward and pick up a bucket of food and go off and feed them in a special section of the swannery which was really good to watch.We didnt actually feed the swans as the person i supported was quite happy just watching but even in his wheelchair he would have been able to go out and feed them with everyone else. As the swans were being fed, the worker there told us the history of the swannery and loads of interesting facts about the swans and about how they build their nests which we really enjoyed.

Once we fed the swans we headed off for some lunch. Next to the gift shop is a lovely little cafe where they sell loads of nice comfort food with seating inside and out and plenty of room for wheelchairs and the staff were incredibly helpful bringing our food over for us and making sure we had everything we needed. After lunch we headed to the gift shop to buy a souvenir of our day out - we ended up buying a huge cuddly swan which got hugged all the way home!

I highly recommend the Abbotsbury Swannery as its a brilliant day out and the prices to get in are very reasonable too.

Individual tickets

Adult: £11.50 (carers get in free)
Child (5-15 years): £8.50
Super Saver Family Ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £39 - Includes entry to the Swannery, Children’s Farm and Subtropical Gardens
Passport Tickets (one visit to each of the three attractions – a real holiday treat!)
Adult – £16.00
Child (5-15 years) – £13.00
Family (group up to 5 with a maximum of 2 adults) – £39.00

Hello everyone!

Hi everyone! Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog! Im new to this so will be learning as i go!

But to start with here's a little bit about me and why im doing this blog.

I work as a Support Worker for a charity based in Dorset which supports children and adults with disabilities. The charity own a special education school which can support up to 28 children and are supported by qualified teachers and a team of occupational therapists, a speech therapist, physio therapists, orthopaedics and nurses. Once they leave school we help them go into Supported Living where they get their own home with a team of staff and gain experience in independent living where they are supported to pay bills, go food shopping and have control over their own money etc.

As part of supported living, they get to pick what they do every day which means alot of fun days out and even holidays! Holidays can range from a weekend away in a caravan to holidays to Florida - wherever they wish really! 
But a problem we have found is that alot of places are not very accessible or the websites claim to be but are sadly not, so ive decided to write a blog to review places we go and to do hints and tips such as good parking spots, places to eat etc!


*Due to privacy rights, I will not be posting photos of the people I support and that the blog is all my own views and not connected to the charity I work for.