Sunshine Fund Creates “ Not All Disabilities Are Visible ” Parking Stickers to Help Families
A local charity has created new disabled parking decals in an effort to help frustrated and upset parents.
The Sunshine Fund launched the #itsmyspace campaign after hearing about the negative experiences of some parents of children with disabilities.
One parent said it was “tiring” to constantly have to justify using a disabled berry.
The fund wants to make families aware of the difficulties families face when parking in disabled bays or traveling by public transport in our region with disabled children.
They say they were “shifted “to learn that some parents and caregivers faced aggression, inappropriate questions and ignorance when traveling with their children.
The new badges are a gentle reminder to other drivers that “not all disabilities are visible”.
Lauren Thompson, dHead of digital fundraising of the Sunshine Fund, said: “Adults with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities should not need to speak up or justify themselves to use the services and spaces specially designed for them.
“We want to highlight this problem in the age of kindness and ask you to think first, be aware and be considerate.
A parent from Newcastle said: “I was at Freeman Hospital for a clinic appointment with my child. We were lucky enough to have one of the last disabled parking spaces in the parking lot.
“While I was being sorted; a person who was waiting for a place got out of his car and came towards me, his face like thunder. I’m entitled to it, but as I lifted my child’s rollator off the boot and put it together, the person gave me one last look and turned around without saying anything.
“It is so tiring that I have to be constantly ready to stand up for my child and their rights to use resources.”
A mom from Sunderland added: “When I got out of the car she angrily yelled ‘This is a handicapped bay that you parked in, you know ?!’
“I just smiled and said ‘I know’, but I deliberately took my time getting my young daughter’s wheelchair out of the trunk. She stopped staring at me at this point!”
And a Northumberland grandparent said: “Although I have had several confrontations over the years when I parked with my disabled granddaughter, I have a real resentment that there just isn’t enough consideration and attention. allocation of resources to adequately serve communities with disabilities.“People within the disability community should not be in positions where we all feel we have to fight for the use of limited resources.
“If the facilities were properly provided and funded, there might not be cases where people are hostile or frustrated with each other.”
Siobhan Sargeant, Director of the Sunshine Fund, said: “We are honored to share the trips of hundreds of families caring for children with disabilities in our area and we were outraged by some of the experiences they shared with us regarding parking and travel.
“An impressive number of families have been confronted with assaults and have been confronted with the use of blue bay car parks in supermarkets, public car parks and even in hospitals in our region, despite the right to use these areas. and displaying the appropriate blue badges. .
“We want to raise awareness of this ongoing issue and say enough is enough.
“At a time when we all readily share ‘be kind’ messages, we want our communities to extend that feeling and courtesy to children with disabilities in our area. It is also their right to use these spaces and zones. ”
How you can support the campaign:
Be considerate when parking your own vehicle, only use the disabled bays if you or your passenger have a blue badge and have the right to do so and leaving sufficient space on sidewalks and in public areas. car parks for wheelchair and executive users.
By being courteous and aware that not all disabilities are visible.
Support our fundraising efforts, allowing us to continue to support children with disabilities in the North East and use our platform as a voice for change.
While bays or disabled parking areas are often abused by drivers and members of the public, be aware of your behavior and avoid confronting drivers as they may have a right to be there.
Chat with your kids, don’t shy away from telling them about disability – including hidden disability – and why it’s so important to be kind and non-judgmental. Explain why disabled parking spaces and priority seats on public transport are so important.
Please note that the stickers do not provide free / priority parking and are not intended to be used in place of a blue badge.
Currently, the stickers are only available to families supported by the Sunshine Fund.
To get in touch with the Sunshine Fund, contact [email protected]
Donate and help us continue to advocate for children with disabilities in our region. Donations can be made online or by SMS SUN 5 at 70085 to make a one-time donation of £ 5.