On Saturday night Whizz-Kidz’s Kidz Board enjoyed the most active of activities. The mission: to experience the sights and sounds of London. For many this may seem easy; London never sleeps and there’s guaranteed to be something fascinating around every corner. Think again. The city is so vast and complex that logistics involved in any journey can be off-putting, intimidating and tiresome, especially if where you are heading is unknown territory.
As a wheelchair user, you are told time and again that transport is inaccessible so why even bother to ponder the possibility of visiting somewhere new. Instead, why not just stay in your hometown where you’re comfortable, wondering the streets as you please. The answer: because there’s a big wide world, which is becoming increasingly interconnected.
It is a fact, however, that many wheelchair users only dream of doing this. A trip to London for all on the Kidz Board (who all live in different regions of the UK) is a rare treat. Even getting to their capital city is a challenge not to be taken lightly; going on a boat along the Thames appears a little fanciful and scary; a tube from North Greenwich to Canning Town, daunting; taking the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) from Canning to Tower Gateway, alien. All twelve of us completed this journey unscathed, however and in the space of an evening Indeed, it was so efficient that we could afford to stop for a two-course meal in the process.
The majority hadn’t been on the underground before and feared falling through the gaps as we board and alighted, respectively. We weren’t waiting around an age either; we were all able to get on the same train. Once we’d overcome our various demons, the journey was easy peasy. Our setbacks were only minor and the fact that people were on hand to help us if needs be was greatly reassuring.
As we returned to our hotel we were proud. Mission accomplished, challenges overcome, myths demystified, several transport staff trained and attitudes changed. A perfect example of why everybody ought to support Whizz-Kidz and #GetOnBoard – 1000s are yet to make this journey themselves.
Check out Kay's video of the evening below: