YOUTH MATTERS Shahna Thwaites...To park or not to park, that is the question on many minds

How many of you out there can give just a split second thought for a disabled person?

If you were to see someone who is in a wheelchair and needs help to get up a kerb, would you help? Not as many as you may think will answer yes to this.

Which goes on to support the issue I want to focus on, that there are too many people out there who don’t actively or accurately perceive what the actual word means.

I have a blue disabled badge, am not in a wheelchair, but still pass as disabled due to a head injury. Too many people associate the idea of disability with a wheelchair. I have first-hand experience there is much more to it than just a wheelchair.

It is my day off and the sun is shining brightly. There is not a cloud in sight so I have decided to visit the beach.

The hamper is packed alongside a deckchair in the back of the car and the dog jumps in and makes his place very well known in among my belongings, laying on the top! Yapping away as if to say ‘C’mon, let’s go’, which I giggle at and rush back inside to get my badge.

It appears quite crowded today, but I still hope that I will manage to find a vacant disabled parking space.

However, when I get up there they are all taken. Viewing each of the individual cars, assumingly there for the day, only a very few of them actually have a qualified disabled badge on show.

I also spot someone jumping out of their vehicle and pouncing over towards the seafront, leaving me wondering about their so-called disguised problem.

Now I am able to park further away than other disabled people as I am able to walk a reasonable distance.

However, for someone who is in a wheelchair it can be extremely annoying, leaving them frantically unable to get to where they need too.

Which gets me to the point I am trying to make here.

PLEASE take a minute to think about others when parking. It could so easily be you yourself in that situation, knowing that myself from first-hand experience.

It will only take an extra few minutes to get to where you are going.

We are all taught to be kind-hearted and think about others – so why don’t we?