Weʼre raising £200,000 to Help disabled families have accessible holidays and leisure at a new complex. Donate £2 to name our butterfly the best name will win a stay
- North East
- 27 days to go
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Family holidays are where most people make happy memories that last a lifetime. But for families where a loved one has a disability, holidays can cause a lot of stress and distress .
"Stressed, left out and guilty’ are just a few things families told us when they thought about trying to access an accessible holiday.
We don’t think that’s right…and we want your help to fix it!
Tailored Leisure is a not-for-profit organisation run by disabled people, for disabled people.
We need to raise £2m to create truly accessible short-break complex for all families but for those with most complex needs and disabilities
Please take a few minutes to read about the barriers we’re trying to break down and how you can help.
STRESSED, LEFT OUT AND GUILTY
• Imagine having to leave your disabled child or partner in respite care so you can ‘enjoy’ a family holiday
• Or arriving at ‘accessible’ accommodation only to discover your disabled loved one is stuck in just a few spaces in the house and can’t join in with family time
• Maybe you simply can’t have a holiday because your medical needs aren’t catered for
• Or you have to ask family members to help you bathe and use toilet facilities because you don’t have access to your usual carers
This is the reality for a huge number of disabled people and their families. People like 19-year-old Mark, who describes holidays as a ‘nightmare’ and ‘counts the days’ until they’re over:
‘Trying to find fully accessible places is my worst nightmare. It’s hard to find somewhere to stay, and you don’t know what you’re going to find when you get there. Last time we went holiday the bathroom was too small for me to use and I couldn’t access all of the cottage.
It leaves me feeling left out and my family feeling stressed and guilty for enjoying themselves when I can’t. I sometimes get there and I am counting the days until we leave, when all I want to do is have fun with the rest of my family.’
WE THINK DISABLED PEOPLE DESERVE BETTER!
But we need your help.
We want purchase an accessible bungalow and develop leisure complex in the North East. The bungalow has 4 bedrooms with a wet room , a gym and a separate indoor swimming pool enabling us to offer holidays and onsite leisure activities
Somewhere truly accessible to all, where families with a disability are able to get the rest and respite they so desperately need, and make magical memories together.
We need to raise 2 million pounds to help us purchase an accessible bungalow with a gym, swimming pool and a community space to offer fitness classes and family events. The site is already built and would allow us to support those most in need with a separate carers annex and within its own private grounds where all the family whatever your ability to make great memories in private with care support only if needed.
The area also has space to to develop in the future with 14 acres of land where will develop a play park and a further 6 accessible lodges
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
The problem is that many ‘accessible’ holiday homes only cater for a narrow range of physical disabilities and don’t actually meet the complex needs of different disabilities.
There are 13.9 MILLOM people with disabilities in the UK – that’s one in five people - and 8% of those people are wheelchair users – like our founder, Tara.
So whilst we value the efforts to make accommodation accessible for wheelchair users, that is only part of the story.
For people who need hoists to help them move around a space, and others who need specialist beds or washing facilities, there is more to accessibility than just handrails and ramps.
Lisa was inspired to write this poem about her family’s experience of trying to find accessible accommodation: after becoming a customer through our Sit to be fit service;
Need to explore, need freedom, a release,
Need some space, a break and some peace,
Barriers frequently appear, so many places where we go
"Are you wheelchair friendly?" "I'm so sorry, no"
Even the places that try hard and are so kind,
Don't know the frustrations stuck in our mind,
One toilet per building, sandy playgrounds, no paths
Add in the wheelchair, yeah now you do the maths
We need our voices heard, need our opinions to be shared,
The only way people learn is if they are
Informed, so prepare to listen, prepare to learn,
We are speaking out now, we want our barriers burned.
LET’S FIX THIS!
By supporting our fundraising campaign, you’ll be giving disabled people access to sector-leading fully accessible holidays thanks to:
• Ceiling track hoists throughout
• Profiling beds as standard
• Accessible kitchen areas
• Full wet rooms and shower chairs
• Wide doorways and level flooring throughout
• Accessible outdoor space
• Accessible hot tubs in some cottages
• Access to on-site carers to replicate support used at home
Our aim is to offer the most accessible escape ever, providing customers with a luxury worry-free break, where families can have fun while we cater for their needs.
We’ve consulted 1000 families with a disabled loved one and they want this to happen as much as we do!
• ‘We have never had a family holiday it would mean the world to us’
• ‘To be able to go away and join in with my family would be amazing and I would feel less like a burden’
• ‘It would take the stress out of searching for something fully accessible’
• ‘This would be AMAZING for our family’
Our holiday cottages will also provide employment and professional development opportunities for people with disabilities. And profits from the scheme will be reinvested into future services for the disabled community.
Tailored Leisure Company (TLC) was started in 2019 by Tara Johnson from South Shields. It is a Community Interest Company, meaning all the profit we make is reinvested for the good of the community.
Tara was inspired to set up Tailored Leisure because of her own experiences living with cerebral palsy, alongside the research she conducted as part of her professional health and social care work, which uncovered heartbreaking insights into the challenges people with disabilities can face, doing things that able-bodied people take for granted.
‘As a busy working mother of two young children who uses a large powered wheelchair, I know only too well how hard it is to find a holiday or a simple activity I can do independently without a car full of equipment services that are tailored to your needs and fun for all the family”
“That’s why I have founded Tailored Leisure – to provide people with physical disabilities with truly accessible opportunities to get fit, have fun and feel relaxed and rested with as little stress as possible.’
WHAT ELSE HAVE WE BEEN DOING?
Since 2019, we’ve worked hard behind the scenes to develop some new and unique services such as our brand new spa therapy service. This is a unique hot tub and changing area offering individual or family sessions and accessible pool parties that will launch later this year (as Covid 19 guidance allows).
During Covid 19 we also wanted to provide a safe and fully accessible fitness programme for disabled people isolating at home, so we launched our first online exercise programme, ‘Sit to be Fit at home’ after securing funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.
‘It’s an incredibly exciting time to be working on a project that is so close to my heart and see us develop things that we hope are unique and make a difference to people’s lives. We live in a world where leisure and short breaks are so important for everyone’s wellbeing, but it’s not as easy when you have a disability, or a family member that needs some extra support. There are so many things to think about instead of the most important thing which is having fun and making memories. I hope our service and the organisations we work with will begin to change that.’
FIND OUT MORE
The service with increase tourism and create job opportunities for disabled people all profits will be invested back into better leisure services for the disabled community
Please help support our project and make a Staycation Accessible to Everyone. Our logo symbolises difference and freedom please pledge a £2.00 and name your own butterfly after someone special we will choose a winning name to name our complex and 1 family of up to 6 people will win a 4 night stay in 2021
Terms and Conditions will apply (Winner announced April 2021)
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Tara Johnson started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Nov 26, 2020
Good luck Tara!
Nov 24, 2020
I heard about Tara's son selling his switch and donating 50% of the purchase to this great cause I donated extra because of it . I would like to name my butterfly Imogen
Nov 21, 2020
Thank you Tara our family would like to name our Butterfly Betty the Butterfly 🦋
Nov 11, 2020
Nov 11, 2020
Nov 8, 2020
Nov 8, 2020
Good luck Tara. Can you name my butterfly Bardee. This name makes up part of your granddad and auntie D xx
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About the fundraiser
As a young mum of 2 with cerebral palsy I know only too well how difficult it is to access the simple things we all love to enjoy that we take for granted like going on holiday and making memories. It can feel sometimes impossible when you have a disability lets make it happen