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'A day in a wheelchair gave me a new appreciation for the challenges they face'

PUBLISHED: 15:55 04 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:55 04 April 2019

Dean Hafermann, 14, who is taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award scheme, pictured with Teresa Arnold Picture: HILLTOP HOUSE

Dean Hafermann, 14, who is taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) Award scheme, pictured with Teresa Arnold Picture: HILLTOP HOUSE

HILLTOP HOUSE

Different generations came together at a supported housing scheme in Bury St Edmunds to raise awareness of disabilities.

Emma Warren, manager of Hilltop House supported housing scheme in Bury St Edmunds, spent the day in a wheelchair as part of the Disabled Access Day events Picture: HILLTOP HOUSEEmma Warren, manager of Hilltop House supported housing scheme in Bury St Edmunds, spent the day in a wheelchair as part of the Disabled Access Day events Picture: HILLTOP HOUSE

Hilltop House, a Sanctuary Supported Living service for adults with physical disabilities, held the Hilltop Olympics to celebrate Disabled Access Day.

Teams took part in a range of events themed around giant games such as Jenga and Connect 4 and Hilltop House manager Emma Warren got involved too by spending a day in a wheelchair to experience life from a different perspective.

The residents were also joined by young people who have been taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award scheme, along with their friends and parents.

The young people, 13-year-old Daniel Robinson and 14-year-old Dean Hafermann, have been visiting Hilltop House for the past few weeks to read books with the residents and lead on creative activities.

Elizabeth Roberts at the Hilltop Olympics Picture: HILLTOP HOUSEElizabeth Roberts at the Hilltop Olympics Picture: HILLTOP HOUSE

Hilltop House’s Olympic event was a culmination of a month of activities over March to mark Disabled Access Day 2019, which encourages those with disabilities to visit new places and share their stories.

Ms Warren said: “Although I have great communication with our residents, spending a day in a wheelchair gave me a new appreciation for the challenges they can face every day.

“The whole ethos of Disabled Access Day is about making it easy for disabled people to try new things, and doing that with our young DofE volunteers meant that everyone got to take advantage of new experiences.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved, especially Sanctuary’s co-production team who kindly provided funding for the giant games we used in our Olympics event.”

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