For some people after they have sustained a spinal cord injury and have become full time wheelchair users, the thought of going out again can feel a bit daunting and disheartening. There is a worry about transport, accessibility, extra time, assistance required, etc, which can all contribute to people opting to stay at home within their comfort zone or going to local places that they are familiar with rather than venturing further afield.
When I suggested taking Jack out for the very first time he was quite apprehensive. This was over 7 years ago when Jack was only 18 years old. He has got a high level of spinal cord injury, C2, and uses a power chair. I took him to the West End to see Spamalot the musical and it was a learning curve for both of us. Driving and parking in Central London can be stressful, but we managed and realised that if we can get to an old theatre in Piccadilly Circus, we can get anywhere.
Over the past 7 years we have been to various places and have seen a number of great gigs, musicals and stand-up comedians; Foo Fighters, Alan Davies, Wicked, Darren Brown, Mickey Flanagan, Rhod Gilbert, that’s just to name a few. We have visited big venues, such as Wembley and O2 Arena, as well as smaller theatres, such as St. Alban’s Arena or The Stables in Milton Keynes. Parking or accessibility have never been an issue, a free ticket for a carer has always been a nice bonus, and assistance provided by staff at every venue was faultless. We have a great time whenever we go out and we are already looking forward to seeing Dara O’Brien at Hammersmith Apollo this October.