Whitburn F.C. are pleased to inform disabled fans of the junior game that they have now taken delivery of a new seated enclosure with spaces for three wheelchairs.
It was a long haul to put this in place as a substantial amount of money had to be raised and they should be congratulated for ensuring wheelchair spaces, which can be seen just behind the www.Bellway.co.uk advertisement, were included.
Airdrieonians Supporters’ Trust (AST) and the Shippey Campaign are proud to announce the first ever Sensory Cup, to be held between teams from Airdrie FC, Rangers FC, Middlesbrough FC and Sunderland FC. The contest will take place on Saturday 10 June at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie, who are sponsoring the tournament. It involves clubs who have installed sensory rooms in their stadia for those who suffer from a Sensory Process Disorder (SPD), such as Autism. The stadium will be open from 10:30am, with the first match kicking off at 11:15.
In January this year, Airdrie became the first club in Scotland – and at that time, only the fourth in Britain – to install a sensory room to allow children with an SPD to watch the game with their families in a safe and calm environment. Sensory equipment, ear defenders and chill out zones are among the features that help children to watch matches that would previously have been a harrowing and uncomfortable experience for both them and their families. AST has adopted a ‘Football for Everyone’ philosophy, and have enjoyed seeing families enjoy the game where previously they would not have been able to do so.
Since its inception, the room has been full to capacity at every home match. Fundraising for specialised equipment spearheaded by AST has smashed its original target.
Rangers followed suit in March of this year in Scotland, while in England, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Watford and Notts County lead the way with similar facilities. It is hoped that many more clubs will follow, and that the tournament will raise awareness of the need for such facilities. The tournament is the brainchild of Airdrie Youth Coach Stevie Burr, and Sunderland fan Peter Shippey, who along with wife Kate, spearhead the Shippey Campaign. Stevie was the driving force of the Diamond Sensory Room after seeing his 5 year old autistic son Calum struggle to last a whole match. Meanwhile, Peter and Kate – who have 3 autistic sons – campaigned for 12 months to introduce the 1st sensory room in Britain at Sunderlands’ Stadium of Light, and their Shippey Campaign aims to replicate this in all stadia throughout Britain and beyond.
The teams on the day will have a variety of talents on display. Ex-players, such as Bryan Prunty and Stephen Docherty will play alongside members of the Airdrie Ladies team who have helped fundraise, family members of some of the children who have benefitted from the room, and some of those in the local community who have helped get the project off the ground. The other 3 teams will also feature a mixture of fans, helpers, and ex players, keeping with the ‘Football for Everyone’ theme.
The day will end with players and fans of both teams mingling side by side in the stadium bar to watch the Scotland vs England match, and with two teams present from each side of the border, the banter is expected to be flying!
Football fans of all clubs are invited along on the day to enjoy the occasion. The Diamond Sensory room will be open for any interested parties to come along and have a look.
Entry is free, but a donation box will be set up at the main door, with all proceeds going to the Hope for Autism group in Airdrie, who have been a huge help in getting the room up and running.
Further information available from Stevie Burr (t: 07884 474101; e:firstname.lastname@example.org); Peter Shippey (t: 07720439252 e: email@example.com) Douglas Allsop (t: 07790663974; e: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Further information available
Our web site carried a recent story about an Off The Bawl gig at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Tam Cowan and Stuart Cosgrove announced at the show proceeds would be donated to the S.D.S.A. A cheque duly arrived for a £1,000. This was a wonderful gesture and very much appreciated
Queen of the South F.C. have appointed Eric Slaven (pictured below) as their Disability Access Officer. Eric has been a Queens supporter for many years and chairperson of the Q. of the S. DSA. That gives them another 3 points as they move up the Accessible Facility “League” along with even more points as a new accessible toilet has been installed for home fans as well as improved car parking.
Keith Ferguson had the pleasure of being shown round this new facility by Liz Kay (the Rangers Disability Access Manager).
Children who visit can watch the game either through the window as Kyle & Callum are doing in the picture below or from a small sectioned off area in the Sandy Jardine Stand.
If the children need a rest from watching the game there is a room they can sit in with suitable and different type of lighting with a television screen showing the game via Rangers TV.
Jayden is pictured below with his Granny playing a computer game sitting in a mini replica changing room. You might just see a mini Kenny Miller shirt hanging up in the background.
Thanks to Liz Kay (pictured below where the children can sit outside to watch the game) for showing me round plus introducing me to Stevie Burr who is working hard to set up a sensory room at Airdrieonians F.C.
The annual Sight Village was held late April in Edinburgh and Glasgow with many exhibitors including the S.D.S.A. and Rex Blind Parties secretaries. Picture shows Keith Ferguson and Billy Owen discussing with a visitor to their stall how audio commentary works.
A number of improvements have taken place at the national stadium. The personal assistants seats in the wheelchair areas at the back of the East and West Stands were found to be badly positioned. This has now been rectified.Large print & braille menus now available at specific kiosks.
Entrance route to the South Stand (west side) has been made safer with the installation of a railing plus new signage is in place (which has also been reflected in the east side).
Additional signage is now in place to guide you to your seat and the refreshment kiosks.
All accessible toilets have now been fitted with alarms with a red cord. When activated good visible and audio alarms are set off.