Mother, 35, told to ‘prove’ she was disabled after arriving at local swimming pool


A mother was left in tears after staff at her local swimming pool told her to ‘prove’ she was disabled – despite arriving on CRUTCHES.

Sarah Pearson, 35, says she was left humiliated by the staff at Dover Leisure Centre  after taking her five-year-old son Mika for a swim.

The mum claims she was told to present a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions when she asked for her usual concession.

Mrs Pearson showed staff her walking stick, morphine patch and offered to show them her blue badge but claims they would not accept it.

The mum yesterday said the staff at the Kent leisure centre made her feel like a fraudster. The former carer said: “I’ve never experienced anything like that before.

“I can appreciate some people may try and get money off sometimes but it was disabled discrimination. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.

“I don’t have a tattoo on me to say I’m disabled. Do I have to wear a badge permanently to let people know?”

Mrs Pearson, from Dover Kent, takes 30mg of morphine to battle the chronic pain that makes walking a stern task.

She became disabled after an epidural left her with tendon damage to her pelvis and hips as well as spinal problems.

Kevin Fordham, deputy managing director at Your Leisure, offered Mrs Pearson a free swimming session but the furious mum refused.

He said: “I have spoken with Sarah and it is very regrettable she feels her disability was not properly recognised, for which I have apologised.”


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