Festive Fun With Fenetic Wellbeing

[This post is an AD in collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing and contains gifted items denoted with *]
Christmas shopping can be a bit of a nightmare - Crowds, queues and chaos. "Why do we do this to ourselves?" I hear you cry "Why don't we just do it online?!? 
Mulled wine. That's why. 
That and the sparkly lights, the brass bands and the general camaraderie of the festive experience. 

I take it for granted that the crowds may be annoying but at least I can get in, out and off to the snow bar. This isn't quite so easy for so many people with mobility issues, so when Fenetic Wellbeing offered me the chance to take one of my lovely friends out, not only for all of the above but also to try their Lightweight Rollator*, I was intrigued.

Many of you will already know my pal Rach and, if you don't, you really should. In 2018, Rach was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, completely flipping life as she knew it on its head. For as long as I've known Rach she's had MS and I can confirm that it doesn't define her in any way, shape or form. What it HAS done though is brought a breathtakingly interesting, articulate and inclusivity-minded woman into my life, so this opportunity to spend an afternoon in her company AND try a new way of getting about was very much win-win.
We decided to spend the afternoon in Hull Old Town. Those of you who know Hull Old Town will be saying "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, ARE YOU OFF YOUR HEAD?!?". 
For the benefit of those of you who do NOT know Hull Old Town - There are cobbles. A LOT of cobbles. And curbs. And water features. In theory, it's a logistical nightmare... NOT WITH THE ROLLATOR!

I'd been quite conscious that a mobility aid is probably quite a personal thing so was fully prepared for Rach to be brutally negative about the Rollator. NOPE. 

Straight away, she extolled how much lighter, more agile and USEFUL this model is than previous walking frames she's used. It folded into the car beautifully, and weighing less than 6kg means that it's not only fab for getting out but also much easier than most in terms of going up and down curbs. Looking back at the pictures, I also know Rach was using the very useful shopping bag at the front but I have NO idea what for, so I'm going to speculate that it was full of pink gin, kittens and sausage rolls... (Am I right Rach...?) 

After a lovely mooch, we popped across the road for drinks, food and (of course) gossip, where Rachel filled me in on all the work she's doing around accessibility in sporting venues - This woman is phenomenal. She's turned something negative into something SO positive and I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see the inroads she's making in terms of change. 

I'm not going to say that the Rollator made our afternoon possible, because where there's a will there's always a way. But it certainly made things much, much easier. The cobbles were no issue and I'm actually annoyed I didn't try the very glam looking seat (Modelled gleefully by Rach above).

There was nothing I could do that Rach couldn't (Except potentially go for a jog but let's be honest, neither of us wanted that. At all.) It was so easy to store whilst we were eating and when we left, we were straight up and out.

 During our meal, I witnessed firsthand just how frustrating a day out could potentially be for someone with reduced mobility and it was absolutely gutting. Luckily, Hull is Rach's home town so she can plan ahead in terms of access and getting around but if you don't know the local area or amenities, it must be an absolute minefield.

We met a woman who relied on a wheelchair who had travelled to Hull for a spot of shopping, she had used the internet to find an accessible toilet. Except it wasn't. And the nearest disabled toilets were also closed. What a rubbish end to what should have been a lovely day out. If, like me, you don't have mobility needs, we take toilets, getting into buildings and just generally being included for granted, and, as individuals AND businesses, we really, really need to do more.
A huge thank you is due to Fenetic Wellbeing for giving Rach and me such a lovely festive afternoon and for highlighting to me just how important it is to look at ways to ensure my lovely friend is looked after in ways that I take for granted.

You can read Rach's views HERE.
Em x

Note: I'm not saying anything here that my pals with mobility needs haven't been saying for years - If you want to know more, follow the ladies below, not only are they opening our eyes to these issues but they're smart, stylish and thoroughly good eggs.