Disability and parenting blogger Fi Anderson rounds up her top picks for an accessible Mother's Day.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, novelty gift sets are popping up everywhere you venture and everybody’s frantically booking reservations at Mum’s favourite restaurant to prevent any last-minute disappointment. While booking a table and buying Mum a gift she’ll love is the extent of what most people have to worry about for this most celebrated occasion, for our family we have a bit more to research, prepare and research again, to make sure the day isn’t ruined by unexpected barriers.
See our family has a unique set of circumstances. My partner and I are disabled parents. I’m a full-time powerchair user with a muscle-wasting condition, who needs to be nearby a Changing Places toilet facility, and my partner is registered partially sighted. We also have 6 and 3-year-old daughters, our eldest being partially sighted too. Everywhere we venture takes great attention to detail and careful planning. Although we are generally very optimistic individuals who don’t let access barriers stop us from participating in normal family outings and activities, the level of our needs combined can get frustrating at times. That’s where the AccessAble App has been a total game-changer for planning our next family adventure!
The AccessAble website and app means we can spend less time researching, making sure all the accessibility boxes are ticked – wheelchair accessible, within close proximity of a Changing Places toilet, good lighting in the venue and public transport links within walking distances as we don’t have a wheelchair van, as all of those needs are highlighted all in one place. It takes out the stress and anxiety, enabling us to simply go out as a family and enjoy our day out together.
My top picks for Mother’s Day, with the kids in tow, (because let’s face it us parents can’t always afford or find a babysitter) are;
- A day trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach – Highly recommend Sea Fish & Chip Café on Foxhall Rd, Bella Italia on Church St and Blackpool Tower for access to Changing Places. Everything is within walking distance for a young family and somebody in a powered wheelchair, most arcades and gift shops have ample wheelchair access, lots for the kids to do and see and Mum can look forward to some fish and chips on the pier or a lovely family meal before heading home.
- The Printworks, Manchester – I adore this venue as every entrance is step-free access whether you’re coming by car/taxi or on foot, you’ve got all your popular restaurants like Frankie & Benny’s, Nando’s and The Hard Rock Cafe that are all wheelchair accessible. The Vue cinema which has guided lighting on the floor, lifts and staff will personally escort you to screens with wheelchair spaces at the back (rather than breaking your neck at the front) all you need to do is ask. A lovely Mother’s Day cinema trip and family meal can be had by all here!
- Queen’s Park, Blackburn – Short on money? A delightful picnic in the park will enable Mum to relax with some nibbles, (and maybe a cheeky glass of wine) while the little ones get to play while getting out the house for a bit! This local park is very accessible for wheelchair users, lots of stuff for the kids to do, while being very picturesque with Mother’s Day being the beginning of Spring.
Wherever you decide to go this Mother’s Day, make it that bit easier by doing a quick search on AccessAble. Every Mother deserves to be celebrated, don’t let access barriers get in the way. Here’s to a wonderful and stress-free Mother’s Day!