Disabled children in Wandsworth enjoying more fun days out thanks to new scheme


The WAND card is celebrating its first anniversary.

By Francine Beleyi

Disabled children and young people in Wandsworth are accessing an increased range of activities thanks to the WAND card,  which is celebrating its first anniversary.

To date, 305 members out of the 500 on the Disabled Children and Young People’s Register (DCR) hold a WAND card which acts as an ID and alerts people to a child or a young person’s disabilities.

The card is delivered with instructive leaflets of the DCR and WAND.

“This is for them or their parents or carers to give out to explain why they or their child need a bit of extra time, patience and tolerance,” says Eleanor Thain, Information Officer at the Family Information Service for Wandsworth Council.

People aged 0 to19 can apply to the DCR and register in about two days. To be eligible for a WAND card, a child or young person needs to live in the borough, be a member of the DCR and provide evidence that their disability has a significant impact on getting about and accessing services.

It can take up to three weeks to process an application and print a WAND card. As well as helping families, the card can be of benefit to businesses interested in CSR and good customer care.

The organisations participating in the scheme include Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, London Recumbents, Wandsworth Museum, Tara Theatre, Disability Sports Coach, DC Leisure in Wandsworth, Cineworld Wandsworth, BAC, Putney Art School, and Sainsbury’s Putney. They offer discounts, free access or help to the WAND card holders.

Carol Heap, proprietor at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo said: “Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is pleased to be a part of this initiative which will make it easier for families with children with a disability to have fun days out together in their community.”

Other organisations such as St George’s Hospital, Queen Mary’s Hospital and the Town Hall offer extra parking services.

Mrs Thain is no stranger to the struggle disabled people encounter on a daily basis. Two of her four children aged nine to fifteen are autistic. One has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and the other with Atypical Autism. Her father had epilepsy and worked as a local family solicitor until he died from Motor Neurone disease.

She said: “As a result of my ‘journeys’ to find the right support, diagnoses and parenting styles to help my children, I have tried out many of the services in Wandsworth. I am glad to make use of this experience to offer help with finding the right services, support and assistance to other parents and carers.” 

A forum is being piloted until the end of the year to provide parents, carers and professionals on the DCR a platform to discuss existing and new services, activities or just share knowledge.

Follow us @SW_Londoner 

Related Articles