The Unlimited Company Leeds Store Opening Day

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write this post. I was invited to attend this Bloggers  Breakfast event by The Unlimited Company from Simplyhealth, where I was given food, drink and a free opening day goodie bag – more on that last part later!

I’ll admit that I had no idea what to expect when I accepted the invitation to go and see the new The Unlimited Company Store in Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park, Leeds. I came away feeling really impressed and encouraged by what the future could hold for me as a disabled person.

Not only did they sell items that would make life easier for people with all kinds of disabilities, not just physical ones like mine, but they have a sensory room and a huge disabled toilet with a hoist, adult-sized changing table, and movable sink. And we all know how I often have some strong opinions on disabled loos.

I think the thing that appealed to me the most was that the shop has a resident Occupational Therapist who is on-hand to offer help and advice to anyone who needs it. She spent ages showing me a lot of things they had for people to look at and try out.

There are just so many things that I didn’t know existed. They have an adapted kitchen to show people what they can do now, and just how stylish they are. It didn’t have a ‘clinical’ feel to it at all, as many of you probably agree some of these things do have. I felt really optimistic about what my ideal home could look like in the future. Well, if I ever manage to get on the property ladder, that is. That’s a debate for another time.

Remember that rant I had about clothes shopping with a disability? Well The Unlimited Company even had that covered too, because they stock clothes from a company called The Able Label. I’ve never heard of these guys before, but I’m definitely going to be checking them out. They make clothes with velcro instead of buttons and zips! How amazing is that?

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Talking to in-store OT Rachel about The Able Label: photo courtesy of The Unlimited Company from Simplyhealth.

If all of this wasn’t enough, I was lucky enough to be able to meet members of TeamBRIT. I’m not going to lie, sport would not be my strongest subject on a quiz show, but I have to say that car looks very cool. And people were impressed by how my walking frame Ivy and I had managed to colour-coordinate with it. I wish I could say I’d planned it that way all along, but I’m not that good.

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Meeting TeamBRIT – photo courtesy of The Unlimited Company from Simplyhealth.

My goody bag had a TeamBrit cap in it too, (and they gave me an extra one for Rob, thanks guys) this totally makes me an honorary member of the team now, right? Right?

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I suck at selfies

They also gave me a really cute mini-hot water bottle which will be a huge help with my pelvis pain, or any other pain for that matter.

And what was the hashtag of the day, I hear you ask.

#nolimitsjustliving

Speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

 

FIND OUT MORE:

If you want to find out more then I’m going include social media links below:

The Unlimited Company

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheUnlimitedCompanyUK
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theunlimitedco
Website: http://www.theunlimitedcompany.co.uk/

Simplyhealth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simplyhealthuk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SimplyhealthUK
Website: https://www.simplyhealth.co.uk/

The Able Label

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAbleLabel/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theablelabel
Website: https://www.theablelabel.com/

TeamBRIT

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamBRIT/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeamBRITracing
Website: http://www.teambrit.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

Feeling amazed

Over the weekend I came across what I feel has to be the most amazing disabled toilet that I’ve ever seen so I feel that I should tell you all about it.

I’ve known that this said public convenience has been in the shopping centre in question  for a while, but I’d never used it before because it sits next to two others. I’ve always used those instead because this one had the symbol for changing facilities on the door as well, and I don’t need those so I’ve always tried to leave that loo free for people who do.

However this weekend I was out with Rob. We decided to make the most of the nice sunshine and hop on a train for the day. I was in my wheelchair and when the cleaner, who is always really helpful when she spots me mooching around any of the city’s shopping centres, saw him pushing me into others, she asked us to wait while she went and got the key for the other one. She was being nice, and we didn’t want to throw this back in her face, as the saying goes, so we waited.

When we got inside we were both amazed (in a good way) at the quality of facilities inside. The room itself was at least the size of my bedroom at home, if not larger. My bedroom is pretty big, by the way.

There was a hoist too, and a changing table with a moveable folding screen for added privacy, and a large, comfortable-looking chair that could be moved around the room to the place you wanted it.

Oh, and there was also two sinks set at different heights, lots of handrails, two emergency chords that I could count, lots of bins at various heights and loads and loads of toilet roll, which is always nice.

They were lovely and clean too.

This was easily the well-equipped disabled toilet that I’ve personally ever seen. Needless to say I was one impressed lady.

Disabled Toilets

First of all, I’d just like to say that I’m sorry about the lack of updates lately. My life has been a maze of appointments and the like. Ali who writes My (dis)abled Life nominated my blog for another award which I will be passing on next week when I’ve finished compiling my list of nominees.

So, today I’m going to talk (and possibly rant) about a subject close to my heart: disabled toilets. As far as I understand it now though, I think the politically correct term is ‘accessible  toilet’ these days.  I’ll probably use both during this post. Although. that will have more to do with the fact that I don’t want to use the phrase ‘disabled toilet’ over and over than anything else.

Now, given that I use my walking frame or my wheelchair when I’m out in public, I end up seeing rather a lot of these so-called accessible loos. The thing that I tend to find is that they’re either brilliant with tonnes of space and the sink and the toilet roll holder at the perfect height, or there are a lot that are quite the opposite. Well, with regards to my personal mobility issues anyway.

Often I find that a lot of them aren’t quite big enough and my wheelchair or walking frame take up most of the space inside and don’t give me a lot of room to move around it easily. As I’m sure you can imagine, this isn’t good if you’re trying to go in a hurry and I have to try and step over things. I find this quite hard and sometimes I trip over which really isn’t a good thing on a full bladder, trust me. It was even worse when I had my surgery a few years back and my mother had to come in a help me (I won’t go into details) but there was even less space then which made us both really, really stressed.

If I’m out and about on my own and I don’t have the option to leave Martha outside and just ask someone to help me walk in, I tend to have some loos that I try to avoid using for these reasons and try and remember where the roomiest (and also cleanest) ones are. I know that you’re all probably thinking that I spend way too much time thinking about toilets, and you’re probably right, but given that I don’t personally find many of them user-friendly I don’t really have much of a choice.

Don’t get me wrong I have seen my fair share of clean, spacious ones ( I even saw one with a hoist once,  but I really have only seen this  once in somewhere other than a hospital). I don’t feel that enough of them are up to scratch. It is because of this that I very rarely feel comfortable using the term ‘accessible’ toilet, when, in my view, many simply aren’t easily accessible to me without help.