Once upon a time...
Nick and Nicola Laister
From left to right: Guy, James and Grace. Standing in front is Olivia, our inspiration for the project.
There are very few rural facilities for disabled children and their families. As most parents of children with special needs know, much of the countryside is out of bounds. Although there are a number of centres for disabled children, these tend to be institutional and require advanced booking, and most mainstream attractions are not fully accessible, despite the efforts of owners.
Nick and Nicola Laister, whose eldest daughter Olivia has cerebral palsy, decided a number of years ago to acquire some land and create a tourist attraction where disabled children and their families can spend a day out in the countryside enjoying various rural activities on a site where everything is primarily designed around their needs. Their vision was to create the sort of attraction that they would have liked to have visited with their own children, which Olivia could have enjoyed alongside her brothers and sister.
Fairytale Farm will be the first family farm attraction where everything is designed around the needs of children with sensory, learning and physical disabilities, but which can be enjoyed by children without disabilities too. A truly inclusive experience.
For the first time in the UK, disabled children will have their own attraction that operates like any other commercial tourist attraction which they can enjoy with the rest of their family - and with no pre-booking needed.
This facility would not be a care facility or an institutional experience, but a family day out in the countryside, built around the needs of the family member whose needs are most difficult to cater for, but open to everybody.
Just turn up and have fun - everything is accessible and everybody is welcome!