Health and Fitness

I thought I would review a sports facility I use in Edinburgh  to look at Disability Awareness. For many years people have thought about Disability Awareness as fitting ramps and accessible toilets. However, Disability Awareness is much more complicated than that. People’s attitudes and perceptions of disabled people is just as vital as any physical environment. For example, many disabled people are excluded from the work place due to attitudinal barriers rather than any physical ones.

I have been lucky enough to be given a sponsorship by Nuffield Health, so wanted to share some of my experiences in using their facilities. Nuffield Health are a not for profit Health Business in Britain. As well as providing Private Health Care, they have a large network of Health and Fitness facilities throughout the country. (www.nuffieldhealth.com) I have been using their Health and Fitness Club in Edinburgh and I have had a really positive experience there.

Below I have set out both positive and negative factors I have experienced so far:

Five Great Things About Nuffield Health Edinburgh:

  • Staff are warm and friendly and they made me feel very welcome
  • Facilities are large, with plenty of room and a lift to the upper floor
  • The Changing rooms and the Pool are all on the same level
  • There are several disabled toilets
  • There is a hoist to help wheelchair users in and out of the pool

Things Nuffield Might Like To Consider:

  • Disabled changing facilities are quite small and are lacking a couple of pieces of equipment.
  • The disabled facilities are only big enough for one person at a time to use
  • There are two doors into the disabled locker rooms which could lead to embarrassing or awkward moments
  • Although the pool is on the level, the sauna and steam room are up three steps
  • Although there is a banister on the steps into the pool, another one would be especially handy for me

Changes Needed To Create a More Accessible Facility:

  • Create a ramp up to the Steam Room and Sauna. I noticed there is plenty of room.
  • Fit an extra hand rail onto the steps into the pool so anyone can hold on with two hands
  • Take out two lockers from the already roomy locker room and fit a bigger cubicle enabling disabled people to use the main changing rooms as well as the able bodied.

I have been blown away by the friendliness and welcome I have received at the Facility in Edinburgh and I am very grateful for the fantastic support they have given me. I would highly recommend Nuffield Health as a great place for disabled people to swim, work out and enjoy being part of the Health and Fitness Community.