Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Bristol Zoo and the Right Wheels.

Once inside the zoo it's all pretty accessible, with all the paths being wide and tarmacked (although the toilets I went to were pretty tight if you are in a power chair - I left my wheels outside the door) I didn't need the full off-roading capacity of my X8 powerchair - but as my wrists were really playing up, using my manual wasn't a possibility, so off-roader it was.

The carpark is very uneven with slopes and chunky gravel even if you are lucky enough to be able to park near the entrance rather than in the field up the hill a few streets away. That would have been a nightmare in my manual! (a total non-issue in my X8)

Anyway, the trip was fabulous. Obviously it's nice to see the animals, but hanging out with my sisters, nephews and nieces was definitely the highlight.

It's funny the little things that made my day:

Helping smallest nephews and nieces to climb things (- using my chair as a ladder.)

Holding my nieces hand and swinging our arms as we went along  - something you just can't do when you walk with your hands.

The view from my chair was apparently the best, so any time we stopped the youngest climbed up and others leant on my chair. I was totally included. My chair wasn't a kind of barrier between me and the rest of the world like it sometimes can feel like - making me be further away. Instead it bought people closer.

At the end of our visit we hung out in the kids play area. I wasn't exhausted - which is pretty incredible (the joys of being able to recline and have a quick nap when needed!). So I spent the time playing with my youngest niece as she conquered every slide she could find. Wheeling easily over the woodchippings and raising my seat up so I could help her cross the rope bridge that led to her favourite slide.

It was a fabulous day that was only possible because I had the right wheels.

And one for which this sticker was totally appropriate:

(And no, neither of my chairs were supplied by the NHS because the only ones the NHS could supply me with weren't suitable. The NHS paid for less than 1/3 of my manual chair, everything else I have had to fund myself. So please support the campaign to ensure that the NHS provides the right wheelchair at the right time: www.rightwheelchair.org.uk )


  1. Glad you had a great day out. Visited there many times whilst growing up, as we lived in W-S-M .

    I think very few of us have bog standard NHS chairs, I don't as it would be way too heavy. We all need chairs that suit our needs.

    One "size" mist definitely does not fit all.

  2. Hey Hannah!
    What an amazing day out. With all those kids climbing over you, it seems like you stole the show!
    Would love to hear more about rightwheelchair, but I can't get the link to work and I can't find it on google. Any more information would be gratefully received. It's this sort of campaign that our Views from the Chair campaign is in support of!


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