Trampoline company to install lift after Peterborough mum's long-running dispute over disabled access for son
A Peterborough mum has felt “let down” by a leading trampoline company after a two-year dispute over disabled access for her son.
Her 13-year-old son has cerebral palsy and severe autism.
She claims that Flip Out had previously told her that “work had been signed off” to make the centre accessible for him, but was later told during October half-term that “no plans for work were in place for the future”.
Peterborough MP Paul Bristow threw his weight behind Janet’s campaign, writing an open letter to Flip Out highlighting the “limited opportunities for physical activity” for disabled children in Peterborough.
Now Flip Out has told the Peterborough Telegraph that it will install a lift.
‘Whipping it away’
"I used to take my son to the previous trampoline centre that was there [Bounce] when he was younger and I would carry him in,” Janet said.
"Now he’s older I can’t lift him, so I’ve been asking if they can make it accessible for him.
"He’s non-verbal and he doesn’t understand why he can no longer do something he always used to love.
"As a mother it’s hard because I can’t explain to him why I’ve taken it away from him. It’s like putting something someone loves under their nose and whipping it away.”
Flip Out has 26 trampoline, adventure and inflatable parks across the UK.
Its Peterborough centre offers dedicated Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) sessions every Saturday – which Janet’s son is unable to attend because of restricted access at the centre.
"There is disabled access into the building but not into the activities area, where there are trampolines set into the ground,” Janet added.
“I was told that he could enter the building and watch the other children.
"He used to love the freedom of being able to bounce. I’m not asking for the impossible.”
A Flip Out Peterborough spokeswoman said complications surrounding Brexit have caused significant delays.
She said: “After exploring a number of alternative, and ultimately unviable, options, we have just signed off on the installation of a passenger lift and are awaiting dates from the supplier regarding fitting.
“We initially explored two different ramp solutions – both of which ultimately proved unviable. The first was due to mandatory maximum incline and the second was due to walkway restrictions.
"Supplier response times and quotes have been severely impacted by Brexit and the lack of availability and price fluctuations of materials.
“This has unfortunately led to significant delays on the progress of this solution, which we have always been committed to. Our operations director has had an ongoing dialogue with Paul Bristow's office and he has been made aware of the issues we have faced.”