Catering for severe physical disabilities – fylde Coast is a shining example

Cerebral palsy is a condition, which affects people differently. For some, it makes muscle movements more difficult, others may also be affected by seizures, epilepsy or difficulties with speech and language.

The Office for National Statistics indicates that there may be around 1,700 babies born with cerebral palsy each year.

Chloe Couture has cerebral palsy, is a quadriplegic and is visually impaired.

Her parents know all too well, how having a child with severe physical needs can make it very challenging to take day trips and holidays.

They have to carry equipment and medical supplies for Chloe, wherever they go.

Chloe’s parents brought her to Blackpool for the weekend, where they stayed at the Village Hotel and spent a day at the Sandcastle Waterpark.

It may sound surprising, but even having a severe physical disability does not stop anyone from enjoying the waterpark’s facilities.

The Sandcastle Waterpark is just one of a number of large attractions across the Fylde Coast, which is a national best practice beacon for accessibility.

Chloe enjoying the Sandcastle Waterpark, which has access champions and water ambassadors for guests with disabilities

The Couture family experienced this for themselves. They were greeted by a dedicated water ambassador – as does anyone who needs one – and were able to use the state-of-the-art changing places. It also has a quiet room, which is perfect for guests with autism.

Chloe’s face lit up as she was wheeled into the water and enjoyed the waves and dad Steph, says: “The Sandcastle Waterpark has a full understanding of all disabilities. Any extra facilities you need, the water ambassador was there.

“They cater for the whole family and not just a disabled child. We were all included and that makes a huge difference.

“If you want a weekend away, come to the Fylde Coast. It’s awesome and we’re coming back.”

He also praised the Village Hotel, where the family were able to stay in an adjoining room with Chloe.

There are plenty of disability-friendly hotels and B&Bs right across the Fylde Coast, from ones dedicated for blind people and those with visual impairments to huge rooms for wheelchair access. You can search for accessible accommodation across the Fylde Coast here

You can watch the video of the Couture’s trip to Blackpool and the Fylde Coast here.

The Sandcastle Water Park is one of a number of partners, including Fylde Council, Wyre Council, Blackpool Council and Blackpool Transport, to the Access Fylde Coast project.

John Child, MD of Sandcastle Waterpark

John Child, managing director of the Sandcastle, says: “The Access Fylde Coast initiative is an amazing opportunity to showcase the variety of activities and facilities available to disabled guests across the Fylde Coast.

“We are delighted to have worked with Access Fylde Coast on this series of videos which we hope will give prospective guests the confidence they need to plan a day out or a holiday here.

“There is much to enjoy in Blackpool and across the Fylde Coast and the team at Sandcastle Waterpark are here to help wherever we can, whether it be planning in advance, or assisting on the day of their visit to create a memorable day out for disabled guests, their families and friends.”

Mike Goody on one of the waterslides at the Sandcastle Waterpark

Mike Goody, Invictus Games gold medallist, who has hosted the mini documentary series for Access Fylde Coast, also got in on the action at the Sandcastle Waterpark.

Mike, who is an amputee, said he would recommend a trip to the Fylde Coast.

The Access Fylde Coast project was handed almost £1 million from the Coastal Communities Fund to help businesses to become more accessible and enhance tourism across the district.

It is the largest amount ever to be given for a disability project and 18-months into the project, more than 500 businesses across the Fylde Coast have had access guides to help them to become more disability friendly.

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