Our visit to the new Entertainer Toy Shop in Truro City Centre was not very entertaining.
And we will not be returning.
It only opened recently and it didn’t cross my mind to call ahead and ask if we could shop like everyone else?
Surely we are “everyone else?”
The store supervisor was apologetic and said that they had wanted to put in a lift but that Cornwall Council had refused permission as it is a listed building.
Well, we would hate for the building to feel sad, wouldn’t we?
I don’t usually take photos of my son feeling sad but, on this occasion, we want everyone to know the reality of childhood when you are disabled by facilities.
Because he was just a child visiting a toy shop.
But the Power Ranger toys were upstairs, along with most of the toys a child of 10 would be interested in.
It is a new shop. It only just opened. It didn’t cross my mind that access would be an issue.
A staff member kindly brought a few toys down for him to see and I let him choose one without even asking the price. He was hurting enough.
£19 ended up feeling like a small price to give him a little joy!
The staff member gave him a free Power Rangers bag to put his new toy in.
But he didn’t really want a free bag.
He wanted to shop freely.
This isn’t written to shame anyone.
It isn’t even a written to complain.
It is just showing the reality faced by many.
A lack of accessible toilets isn’t the only difficulty.
*** Update 18th May 2017 ***
Cornwall Council has stated that The Entertainer NEVER applied to install a customer lift.
Many have contacted me sharing their own experience of visiting this store and it saddens me that The Entertainer did not consider the needs of disabled people.
*** Update April 2018 ***
After falsely blaming Cornwall Council, The Entertainer said that it had not been possible to install a lift due to “low ceiling height”. As lifts can be put in all sorts of buildings, with many types of lift available, we felt certain that this was another excuse.
Adam instructed a solicitor to act on his behalf.
Earlier this month court papers were served. We are hopeful that The Entertainer will rethink their actions and not force us to take it all the way to court.
However, if it becomes necessary, we will.
Because if we do nothing, more people will have the same experience.
We must all take action to ensure that service providers meet the Equality Act.