COUNTY NEWS: Disabled girl in wheelchair turned away from Sussex venue

A disabled little girl from Sussex was left upset and disappointed after she and her family were turned away from a crazy golf course because it was '˜not wheelchair friendly'.

Summer Finlay
Summer Finlay

Shaun Finlay said his five-year-old daughter Summer, who has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, was ‘so excited and coudn’t wait’ to play golf with the ‘glowing dinosaurs’ at Globalls in Brighton on Saturday (April 15).

Shaun, from Hastings, said: “We won tickets off their Facebook page to play there, went all the way to Brighton, which took an hour’s drive, only to be turned away by the venue, saying they can’t allow wheelchairs, due to there not being enough space. We wanted to look around to see but they wouldn’t let us in. Summer was very upset and disappointed.”

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Julie Davidson, owner of Globalls, said: “We can completely understand how upset Summer must have been.

“Unfortunately the reason we are not wheelchair friendly is the cold harsh facts of economics. We are an indoor venue completely different to other ‘outdoor’ mini golf courses which have a lot more space.

“If we were to adapt our course to make it wheelchair and pushchair friendly the amount of space required for the walkways would mean that, rather than 12 holes of golf, we would only have space for six.

“The cost of retail space in Brighton is extremely expensive and for a six-hole course, the business economics just do not work and the business would not be able to exist.

“It is for this reason we are not legally obliged to provide access.

“We are a small independent family business that simply does not have the required resources to have a property large enough to accommodate this access as much as we would like to be able to. We really do regret this is not possible as we cannot agree more with Summer’s family how sad it was that she could not enjoy the experience.

“We will be opening a dialogue with Summer’s family with the view of perhaps agreeing for Summer to come and play at the venue out of hours when it is closed.”

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