GoTo Shop

Parents shouldn’t have to struggle to go shopping with their child.

Unfortunately, we know that many do.

We’ve been asking for their thoughts and opinions on the Firefly GoTo Shop Cart – here are just some of the responses we have received:

–  “Great to see this the experience the children get from shopping with mom and dad is priceless and the bond is even better”

– “I think every store should have about 4 each at least. The people that would sit in them would love to be out and about like everyone else and the people that help them can go to the store to get stuff for both people.”

– “It would be awesome if they had them for all ages and sizes.”

– “All stores should have this”

–  “All stores should consider this special needs cart.”

– “This would make shopping soooooooo easy and enjoyable!”

– “We visit USA once a year for therapy and can’t enjoy shopping trips like we enjoy shopping trips here in the UK because the other special needs carts just doesn’t support my daughter The GoTo is amazing and is in almost every supermarket here in the UK now. It’s great we love it and would love to see it in the USA”

– “They should have three or four in very store”

– “The other special needs carts won’t support my daughter there is no lateral and no head support. They serve different needs!”

– “Although the current special needs cart is a wonderful addition to our local retailers, it does not properly fit all children. My son is 2 years old, 24lb with poor head and core support. I support the GoTo Shop for the Moms of smaller special needs babes”

– “All stores should have one there are a lot of special needs children out there”

– “The current adaptive cart is good for bigger kids but this would be perfect for smaller kiddos so they don’t slide off to the side”

– “Arvada, CO needs them would make shopping with all my kids so much easier than to push a wheel chair and pull a cart”

– “Yes!!!! We’ve tried the other special needs carts and it was an epic fail. I left frustrated in tears. My son is just too tiny for it. We NEED them (pretty please).”

– “Same! The other carts are made for adults. Kids are waaay to tiny. My son hates it.”

– “Every place that has shopping baskets should have this”

– “Albany, CA needs one. Other special needs carts are just too big for my toddler who has muscular dystrophy”

– “This will be the only way I can shop with my son without having to leave him with someone.”

– “My daughter cannot sit in a buggy and is still way too little for the other special needs carts”

– “My 5 yrs. son is too little for the other special needs carts. They don’t give any trunk support. He is in a wheelchair otherwise, which makes shopping VERY difficult”

– “Target in Manhattan beach California needs one ASAP! The other special needs carts are great for older kids and adults. The go to is better for smaller kids”

– “Lake Grove, NY! Whole Foods Market. They’d have a customer for life if they had this cart!”

The Firefly GoTo Shop Cart which has transformed shopping trips for special needs families in over 3,500 UK stores, is now available for distribution in the US, Europe, Australia and Canada.

Today we’re calling on our US families to get behind the campaign by downloading the US Campaign Leaflet and handing it in to your local stores to make store managers aware that the GoTo Shop Cart is now available in the United States.

Download the leaflet here.

If you require more information, assistance or if you want to let us know your progress feel free to contact [email protected]

US Parents Need The GoTo Shop

Do you ever struggle to go grocery shopping with your children?

You’ve been telling us how this can be a near impossible task for a while now – and we’re pleased to say we have the solution:

The Firefly GoTo Shop Cart which has transformed shopping trips for special needs families in over 3,500 UK stores, is now available for distribution in the US, Europe, Australia and Canada.

We have a strong community at Firefly and parents are continuously sharing the challenges they face with everyday tasks like grocery shopping.

It is the simple products, that improve day-to-day life, which are the most effective.

The importance of the Firefly GoTo Shop Cart cannot be underestimated.

GoTo Shop Cart has been designed to make shopping trips easier for parents and carers of young children with disabilities.

The shopping cart seat includes a secure and adjustable 5-point harness, adjustable head and lateral support, a soft padded seat and an open front for easy transfer.

Parents who have used the cart in the UK have commented on the social benefits of the face-to-face interaction they get with their child.

Today we’re calling on our US families to get behind the campaign by downloading the US Campaign Leaflet and handing it in to your local stores to make store managers aware that the GoTo Shop Cart is now available in the United States.

Download the leaflet here.

Anything you can further do to increase campaign awareness will be a massive step in helping get the GoTo Shop Cart in stores across America.

Don’t forget to use the #EverySupermarket if you are posting about the campaign on social media.

Here’s some other ideas:

– Take a photo with the store manager when you hand the leaflet in

– Contact your local newspaper or TV stations to tell them why you need a GoTo Shop in your local store – ask the community to rally around and support you.

– Start a petition in your local store and ask the community to sign and support your cause.

Let us know your progress – we’re asking for your help, so you can bet we’ll be there to help you with your efforts!

If you require more information, assistance or if you want to let us know your progress feel free to contact Mark at [email protected]

Why I Love the Firefly GoTo Shop

My son Brody is 6 years old and unable to walk for a long time around a supermarket.

He is too big for standard trolleys now and I can’t push his wheelchair and a shopping trolley at the same time.

This is most likely something a lot of people don’t think about – because let’s face it, they don’t have to!

But it really is a problem for many families.

Luckily for us, our local Tesco store in Falkirk has a Firefly GoTo Shop shopping trolley.

It’s a game changer for us and many other local families who walk in similar shoes.

It’s great that Tesco took the initiative to have one of these in store and it’s fantastic that in doing so they’re promoting inclusion and access for all – something that all businesses should champion.

A simple thing like this can bring communities together and prevent isolation.

It also creates disability awareness. We’re not all the same, and that’s okay!

The GoTo  Shop trolley seat not only means that I can take Brody shopping with me, it means that he is comfortable.

The seat offers extra postural and head support and a secure five-point harness.

I now have to avoid stores that don’t have a GoTo Shop Trolley because shopping with Brody is just not feasible on my own without one.

No family should be limited to where they can go to shop, but sadly many are.

When we are away from home, we know that we can use the Firefly Finder to find a store that caters for our needs.

I would love to see Firefly achieve their campaign aim of seeing a GoTo Shop trolley in #everysupermarket.

If you feel the same way, speak to your store manager and make them aware of the GoTo Shop Trolley.

You can find a leaflet on the Firefly website here, which you can also print off and hand in.

Small things really do make a big difference.

Stuart Milk said that “we are less if we don’t include everyone” and he was right. Inclusion should always be a priority.

Every little helps!

Tesco orders additional 350 GoTo Shop Trolleys

Tesco have just ordered another 350 GoTo Shop trolleys!

Things like this do not happen on their own, they need to be campaigned for.

This campaign is promoted and shared every day by you, every single one of you that want to take your little ones to the shops and be able to take more than a basket’s worth home.

There are now 1,350 GoTo Shop trolleys in Tesco stores across the United Kingdom.

While we haven’t received a list of the new stores just yet – we hope to share this with you in the coming weeks.

To find out if your local Tesco has a GoTo Shop trolley, visit the Firefly Finder and search your post code.

This now takes us to a grand total of 3,080 GoTo Shop trolleys throughout the UK and Ireland. But the campaigning doesn’t stop there – our mission is see a GoTo Shop trolley in every retail store around the world.

If you want to support the GoTo Shop campaign, download this leaflet and hand it in to your local store.

Don’t forget to share your GoTo Shop photos with us on our Facebook Page!

Happy shopping!

Does the UK Lead the Way When it Comes to Changing Places?

That sounds like quite a lot but when you consider how big our country is, and how many places do not have one, it really isn’t very many at all.

But, even with so few facilities, could it be that this is one area in which the UK are overshadowing the rest of the world and leading by example? Even though we aren’t doing all that well ourselves.

The rest of Europe is being very slow in catching up to the UK when it comes to Changing Places toilets.

We understand there are a few changing places toilets in Germany now and we spotted a campaign in Sweden.  But we couldn’t find any information about other campaigns or facilities across the continent.

It seems strange that Europe is so far behind us considering how close we are and how many disabled Brits visit the continent each year.

We expected the USA, to at least be hard on our tails, if not, way ahead of us when it came to, “Changing Places”, style toilets.

They are world leaders in most other areas after all.

But we were wrong.

The USA does not have a single, “Changing Places”, style facility anywhere in the country.

Even Walt Disney World expects disabled people to lie on a toilet floor, not the magical experience we all dream of.

Sure, we have noticed a few bathrooms are springing up which house an adult sized changing table but we couldn’t find any which also had a hoist!

When you consider that Florida, just one of their 50 states, could house the whole UK and still have space left over, it really is shocking (and disappointing) we couldn’t find a single facility to write about!

We did notice there are several online campaigns to get adult sized changing benches into public bathrooms but no one seems to be including hoists in their campaigns, which seems a little odd as it is extremely difficult and dangerous to lift an adult onto a changing bed without one.

If you do know of a changing places style toilet in America, please let us know!

Canada, however, is starting to take notice of the campaign.  They recently opened the very first Changing Places toilet in Montreal airport.

If you need this type of facility in Canada you can now visit the airport and use their fantastic facility.  You wouldn’t really be able to go anywhere else though which is disappointing!

But now they have one, the sky’s the limit.

And we all have to start somewhere don’t we!

Australia is hard on the UK’s heels when it comes to changing places though.

Their campaign has been running for some time and they now have several changing places toilets.

There are government grants of up to $100,000 available to places who want to build changing places toilets which is just brilliant.

This can only mean more and more changing places toilets are built which is something to really celebrate.

So, back to the original question, are the UK the world leaders when it comes to Changing Places toilets?

Yes, it would seem we are, even though we still need more facilities across the country.

So here is a challenge for our overseas readers… do you think you can catch up?

Accessibility: What is a radar key?

The “accessible” loos we’re referring to are those with wheelchair symbols on the door, usually found in public areas, shops or restaurants.

Unlike regular public toilets, these loos are often locked to the general public to prevent misuse and to keep them clean.

Unless you carry a radar key with you then you may need to find a staff member to grant you access to the “accessible” toilet.

But disabled people don’t really want to have to ask permission to use a toilet, especially when the chances of finding the magical key holder are usually slim to none.

Radar keys mean you don’t have to ask, you can simply let yourself in.

These keys don’t just open standard “accessible” toilets though.

Many of the UK’s Changing Places toilets are only accessible with a radar key so it is well worth taking the time to get one to take with you when you are away from home.

Why are, “accessible”, loos locked anyway, surely that makes them in-accessible?

There are many reasons that businesses and councils lock their “accessible” toilets.

Many of those reasons are to do with keeping them clean and safe for disabled users, but it may also be to prevent misuse if the location is not monitored regularly by a staff member.

Why are they so huge?

Radar keys are massive, there’s no getting away from it.

They’re not something you’d want on your keyring and you certainly wouldn’t want to keep one in your jeans pocket.  But they are large for a reason.

They are designed to be easier for people with physical impairments to get out of a bag and in to a lock.

And their ergonomic design is there to give good leverage to make them easier to use.

Who can have a radar key?

When these keys were first introduced in the 1980’s, there were tight controls on who could get a key.

People had to apply to their local council and would only be given a key if they met strict requirements.

However, over the years these rules have been relaxed which means that they are much easier for disabled people to access.

You can now buy radar keys online from websites such as Amazon & Ebay or in stores such as Argos.

This has, sadly, made them more open to misuse as there are no checks carried out to ensure buyers have a legitimate need for one.

Where do I get a radar key?

The radar key had a make-over recently as there were so many unreliable keys on the market.

To ensure you have a key which will work in all radar locks, it is recommended that you have a “blue heart comfort key” which you can get from your local council or from the blue badge company and other reputable sellers.

10 Ways to Make Water More Exciting!

It’s recommended we drink approximately 2 litres of water a day, which for some (myself included) isn’t an easy task.

To try and encourage myself to drink more, I’ve been looking at ways to make my water more exciting.

So far, it’s definitely helping and they are so easy to make.

It’s as simple as popping your ingredients into a jug or bottle of water and leaving to infuse for 2-4 hours.

To help you get started, here are some of my favourite flavours:

Cucumber and Mint

It’s so fresh and perfect for a hot day.

A top tip would be to tear up the mint before putting it in so you get all the flavour.

And, if you have the time, put in some frozen slices of cucumber.

Orange and Blueberry

Full of freshness, Vitamin C and antioxidants!

Pineapple and Jalapeno

This one is bursting with flavour and perfect for seeing off any of those spring colds.

Watermelon and Basil

You feel like you’re relaxing on the beach with this one and even better, basil is full of antibacterial properties.

Apple and Cinnamon

Not only is cinnamon great for helping with digestion, this combo tastes like Christmas in a cup and who doesn’t love that?!

Lavender and Blackberry

This one helps with feeling relaxed and is packed full of antioxidants.

Aloe Vera and Lime

This mix will naturally increase energy and fight fatigue.

Kiwi and Blackberry

I love the mix of these flavours together and another recipe that is full of antioxidants.

Chia Seeds

This is a bit of a strange one but is full of health benefits. Chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 – fatty acids.

Mix with some lime for a bit of flavour.

The texture does take a bit of getting used to but it you stick with it it’s worthwhile.

Raspberry and Rose

If you close your eyes whilst drinking this one, you almost feel like you’re sitting in a beautiful English country garden.

Rose has great anti-inflammatory properties and is also said to reduce anxiety.

Let us know what you think or if you have any of your favourites that you would like to share!

Tilgate Park Officially Opens Space to Change

The venue, acknowledged as being the area’s “jewel in the crown’ with its nature reserve, fishing, lakes, gardens and forest adventure experience, already welcomes over one million visitors a year.

By opening the first, “Space to Change”, wheelchair-accessible toilet with changing bench and hoist, Tilgate Park will now be accessible to even more visitors.

The Space to Change enhances a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet by also incorporating an adult-sized changing bench and hoist, supplied and installed by the UK’s leading away from home accessible toilet solutions company, Clos-o-Mat.

The improved toilet facilities form part of a five-year development plan for Tilgate Park, which includes improvements to parking, the access road, and paths.

Explained Vikki Fold, Crawley Borough Council’s community development officer,

“At a youth event, a teenage wheelchair-user said there needed to be more hoist-assisted toilets in Crawley.

Tilgate is having development work done, and the existing wheelchair-accessible WC was big enough to accommodate the extra equipment, so we thought it would be a good idea to tie it in.

We are committed to doing what is right for local residents and visitors, without damaging the Park.”

Added Samantha Buck, local campaigner for hoist-assisted toilet facilities,

“If you care for someone who is in a wheelchair, if they are bigger than a baby, you will probably need a hoist to lift them.

Without it, you can’t use the toilet facilities and have to either cut your visit short, or not go at all. A hoist takes up no space, but makes such a difference to families like mine.

It means we can go out and about, spend time- and money- at a venue, and relax knowing we can all access suitable toilet facilities.”

A Space to Change toilet takes a standard ‘Document M’ wheelchair accessible toilet, adds more space to it (if required) to achieve a minimum 7.5m2, and an adult-sized changing bench and hoist.

Under British Standards, Changing Places are in addition to that standard wheelchair-accessible toilet, at least 12m2 (3m x 4m), and include a ceiling track hoist and height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench.

Campaigners experienced that many venues could not allocate the additional space, funds required, so devised Space to Change as a compromise, which still delivers the equipment they need.

Sheffield: Venues with a “Changing Places” Toilet

To tell us about venues in her city of Sheffield and the surrounding areas of South Yorkshire that are worth a visit for special needs families because of the exceptional toilet provision.

Rother Valley Country Park

The Watersports & Activity Centre is also equipped with a range of adapted cycles that are specifically designed for people with limited balance and mobility including hand bikes, wheelchair carriers and single and duo Trikes.

These Cycles are available to individuals and groups and enable everyone to participate in a trip on 2, 3, 4 or even 6 wheels around the park.

Please call the Activity Centre on 0114 2471452 for more details.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

The toilet provision here is described as small but functional providing a bench and hoist.

Rivelin Valley

The toilet at this venue is located near to the cafe.

Crucible Theatre Sheffield

Sheffield Teatres also put on many special performances. It’s also worth noting that the Lyceum Theatre is adjacent so it is easy to use Crucible facilities.

Pond’s Forge International Sports Centre

As well as a toilet with a bench and hoist this venue also provides a pool side hoist.

Concord Sports Centre

As well as a toilet with a bench and hoist this venue also provides a pool side hoist.

Graves Sports Centre

As well as a toilet with a bench and hoist this venue also provides a pool side lift.

Ice Sheffield

Ice Sheffield regularly have mobility sessions so it’s worth checking out their website for more information.

Events often take place in the Peace Gardens in Sheffield . These are usually free and there is a Changing Places at the Town Hall and also in the Moor Market.

Meadowhall Shopping Centre also provided a toilet with changing bench and hoist which is situated near the Oasis food court.

Finally, make sure to include a visit to the coastal town of Bridlington in your plans which now have FIVE Changing Places located throughout the resort.