Last weekend, Ed invited his friend Daniel, a wheelchair user, to come along to Beverley Westwood parkrun for the first time. Ed tells the story of how it went!
parkrun promotes inclusivity. Everyone is welcome. There is no single winner – everyone is a winner at parkrun. parkrun encourages participants of any ability to take part and prides itself on being accessible to all. It is recommended that wheelchair users check the suitability of the course first, as unfortunately some courses are not wheelchair friendly, but this should not stop an individual from getting involved – you can join the fantastic team of hi-vis heroes and you will be made very welcome.
It was only a matter of time before I introduced my friend Daniel to parkrun. Last weekend, I brought him along to Beverley Westwood parkrun to volunteer. Whilst walking to there, I wondered if Daniel knew what he was about to embark on. Thankfully the weather was kind to us. We were greeted by friendly volunteers and Daniel was given a warm welcome by all. As soon as he was wearing the hi-vis jacket he was smiling and he posed for a photo with RD Matt and me next to the parkrun sign.
parkrun provides everyone with different opportunities and for Daniel to attend an event in his local community is fantastic. Our personal experiences will vary but sometimes we will share the same experiences. Today provided Daniel with a positive one and hopefully the first of many events that we can attend together. Daniel appeared to enjoy the positive environment, looking around watching parkrunners arrive!
During the event we watched and cheered as parkrunners passed the ‘daffodil turn’. Daniel was still mesmerised by what was going on but was starting to get into the spirit as we started our joint role of barcode scanning. For Daniel, social interaction is important and he thoroughly enjoys interacting with people. The Westwood provides not only a beautiful backdrop but sensory stimuli with the different smells and sounds for us all to enjoy.
Thank you to everyone who made Daniel feel welcome this morning and for giving him a positive experience and a morning neither of us will ever forget. Hopefully this is the first of many events that we will attend together.
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