Seating — Scope | Disability forum
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katyoderr Community member Posts: 4 Connected
I am new here so hi all. I'm sure my problem affects everyone. When/if I go out My legs hurt so much I have to stop every five minutes. Does anyone know how we can seating back in the high streets and Supermarkets? I have written to my MP but nothing has been done. I have to lean on my trolly in supermarkets and put up with the stares and comments, Sainsbury's took away the chairs that had been there for years and also put spikes on the window ledge outside. I am desperate for somewhere to rest for a few minutes. I know they will say it's covid distance etc but they can easily spread out the seating. Aldi never had seating. Does anyone know who I can ask to put some seating back?


  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    edited December 2021
    Hello @katyoderr and welcome to the community, thanks for reaching out. Speaking from experience, it can be a real barrier to independence, and feeling happy going out, if you are constantly anxious about whether or not you'll be able to find somewhere to sit. 

    Have you spoken to your GP about the pain you've been feeling in your legs?

    I'm not sure who you could ask about seating I'm afraid, but have you considered using any aids at all? A rollator might be worth looking into, it can support you as you navigate, and there's a seat incorporated, so you can sit down whenever you need to. Most of them also have compartments where you can store your shopping or belongings :)

    Please do let us know if there's anything else we can help further with.

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  • katyoderr
    katyoderr Community member Posts: 4 Connected
    Hi Alex
    Thank you for the reply. Yes, I wrote to my MP but there's was no solution, I have a trolly which I use but just to lean on, My calves and backache so much that I do need a bench or a seat. Do you know if there is a supermarket site that deals with ALL supermarkets. ? Oxford st is the worst. I think there are two seats in the whole street and of course none in the shops. I went into a shop there last week and asked 'why there are no seats'? His answer and I kid you not, was 'because people sit on them'. There is no answer to that..
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,284 Disability Gamechanger
    Outdoor seating was removed due to covid and I don't see it being put back anytime soon.
    A neighbour of ours has a type of walking frame that has a seat maybe have a look at those?
    A quick google or amazon search will bring up lots of examples.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    @katyoderr you're very welcome.

    That is a very odd response to your question, I agree. One of the frustrating things about a lot of public spaces is that they have often been designed without accessibility in mind. They are designed instead for functionality, throughput, and the movement of people.

    Bearing that in mind, the onus is often on us as people who might need seating, to adapt, which is quite frustrating. Perhaps you could approach Transport For All, they are a London based disabled-led group, who campaign to increase access to transport and street space across the UK.

    I'm sure you wouldn't be the first person to raise seating as an issue, and you might be able to talk about whether any of their campaigns could highlight it better. The might be able to suggest other organisations that could help with supermarkets too.
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  • Reg
    Reg Community member Posts: 109 Pioneering
    Hello @katyoderr

    Have you been to any Waitrose supermarkets ?

    I am very fortunate where I live as we have a mini Waitrose and it therefore isn't too big to walk around. 

    All the Waitrose's I have been in have metal bench seating inside so you can sit down before and after your shop - subject to the mother's removing the children from standing and running on the benches so you can do sit ! 

    I don't know if the benches are universal across all Waitrose's or just in my county . If you are thinking that Waitrose could blow your food budget I have found they are actually cheaper than many of the other supermarkets if you chose from their budget range.

    My new problem is that I can't carry anything home as I am on crutches and even a pint of milk causes chaos with the balance but I am v lucky with Tesco deliveries.

    I hope you have a Waitrose near you that you can try or there is a supermarket that can offer you deliveries - though they don't seem great on delivering milk or anything fresh ! 


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  • katyoderr
    katyoderr Community member Posts: 4 Connected
    Hi Reg
    Thanks for that. Yes, we do have a Waitrose but it is a stand-alone, It has seating outside. I would like to visit other shops also, so it's not really suitable for my needs.

  • TheAlien
    TheAlien Community member Posts: 228 Pioneering
    I think its another way of subliminally telling disabled people we aren't welcome.  Even the seats in bus stops have been replaced with ledges that you can only lean against, but if you are less than average height, they are useless.  Disabled seats on buses are usually placed right next to the pram/buggy zone so they get taken by parents, older children or their shopping, who often refuse to move if a disabled person needs the seat.

    The only shop I have found that has a seat is a small independent health food shop.

    I too have to shop online as I'm on crutches, but I'm lucky that I have a milkman who delivers in my area.


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