It’s never too late to try something new. More and more activities are becoming accessible, from skiing and sailing to motorsports, or even ﬂying.
If you’re thinking about when might be the right time to try something you’ve never done before, it’s now. While it’s true that leaving your comfort zone is daunting, the rewards can be incredible, from learning new talents or skills to simple, sheer excitement!
Here are a few notes on the things you could try…
Bendrigg Trust have a purpose-built, accessible climbing wall. With a variety of climbing difﬁ culty levels, choice of free-hanging abseils, bouldering opportunities, tyrolean and rope climbs, there are opportunities for everyone to get involved. The use of specialist equipment, hoists and harnesses as well as a fantastic wheelchair climbing and abseil ramp means that nobody will be left on the side-lines; Bendrigg will help you to achieve your goal.
Bendrigg Trust specialises in delivering high-quality courses for disabled people. They aim to promote inclusion, encourage independence and build self-conﬁdence through the safe provision of adventurous activities. Climbing, for instance, can help develop communication, co-ordination, muscle strength, balance and problem-solving skills, with the added excitement of being up high.
See also: GB Climbing Team www.gbclimbingteam.co.uk/paraclimbing
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national body for all forms of boating and runs Sailability. From dinghy sailing at a local club, to offshore sailing in a yacht, there are opportunities to learn new skills, have a great social life and most importantly, enjoy the freedom that sailing offers. The RYA insist that disability isn’t a barrier to taking part and invite disabled people to get on the water in a variety of different boats. Taster sessions are available and if you want to take part regularly, Sailability is a great place to start.
The RYA website hosts a ‘Find a site near me’ search facility giving you information about Sailability locations, accessibility and the type of activities they offer.
See also: Disabled Sailing Association www.disabledsailingassociation.org.uk
Fly a plane
Aerobility is a charity that gives disabled people the opportunity to ﬂ y an aeroplane. Because it’s a user-led organisation (ULO), Aerobility is run mainly by disabled aviators, for disabled people.
For some, the feeling of their ﬁrst ﬂight is enough to change their outlook on disability forever, with some making a decision to continue their training – all the way to securing a private pilot’s licence.
Aerobility provides ‘experience of a lifetime’ trial ﬂying lessons for as many terminally ill and disabled people as possible every year, as well as subsidised ﬂying days for other disability charities and at-cost instruction and qualiﬁ cation ﬂight training to disabled people.
See also: Flying Scholarships for Disabled People www.fsdp.co.uk
Walking on Air is a Scottish charity that utilise facilities at the Scottish Gliding Centre to provide an opportunity for adventurous disabled people to ﬂy a modiﬁed glider.
Walking on Air invite people, from teenagers upwards, to take a trial ﬂight, or to watch others ﬂy and make a relaxing day of it.
See also: British Gliding Association www.gliding.co.uk
GwynneSPEED have made the majority of their rally driving courses accessible, although there are criteria that individuals must meet before they can take part, for safety reasons.
The site is fully equipped for disabled visitors with ramped access into the building, disability friendly facilities and a large hard standing area to make getting into and out of the car as straightforward as possible.
Speed of Sight use fast dual control cars together with a skilled instructor to give people access to thrilling track day experiences.
Speed Of Sight have three specially designed cars – the two racing cars have dual controls and twin steering wheels and their off-road buggy has hand controls. Track experiences take place countrywide at racing circuits, off-road tracks or any venue with a large enough car park or area where a circuit can be created.
Dive Ability say that Scuba diving can be enjoyed by virtually anyone, regardless of physical ability and that, in fact it can offer you a unique sense of freedom by transporting you into a world of weightlessness.
Dive Ability invite disabled people to attend one of their try dive sessions. The dive is conducted at your pace and provides an opportunity for you to discover more about the activity.
Your dive will be conducted (in a swimming pool) by one of Dive Ability’s experienced teaching staff. Sessions take place once a month at a modern pool facility with easy access to the poolside.
www.diveability.org Scuba Trust, Diving with Disabilities
Disability Snowsport UK can put you in touch with local groups that offer opportunities for recreational adapted skiing. The groups enable members to ski together at dry slopes and indoor snow centres throughout the country.
The groups have a wide selection of adaptive snowsport equipment, which, along with dedicated trained volunteers, enable skiers and boarders with a large range of disabilities to enjoy snowsports.
There aren’t many experiences as thrilling as freefalling at 120mph on a tandem parachute jump. When the canopy opens you may even be allowed to help with the steering and landing, all under the guidance of your tandem instructor.
Tandem parachute jumps can be carried out by people with certain disabilities with the approval of their doctor, the chief instructor and the tandem instructor.
Medical criteria must be strictly adhered to for safety reasons and applies mostly to people with issues concerning blood pressure and respiration. (The training for the tandem jump is in the form of a brieﬁ ng from your instructor which takes about 30 minutes.)
UK Skydive www.ukskydive.com
It doesn’t end there…. There are plenty of other incredible adventures that are just a few clicks away:
iCAN Experiences www.icanexperiences.co.uk