Broken lift has ruined family trip to Butlin’s

Butlins Bogner Regis'Dunstable Gazette Holly Patel June 2014 PNL-140617-135146001
Butlins Bogner Regis'Dunstable Gazette Holly Patel June 2014 PNL-140617-135146001

Butlin’s treatment of people with disabilities has been criticised after families were given barely a week’s notice they will not be able to access the centre stage this half term.

Wheelchair-user Katie Mansfield, 39, from Ashford, thought her husband was joking when he said he’d been contacted with the news the lift was broken and that she cried after realising he wasn’t.

The mum-of-two said: “We are going with two lots of families, there will be 11 of us in total. I wanted to spend time with them and try to be as normal as possible. If all I can do is sit and wait it gets boring.”

Katie, who has fibromyalgia, added: “But how do I tell children that are five and nine the holiday is cancelled? They all have countdowns on their phones for the days and minutes until we go away.”

Katie said the one show she was looking forward to was seeing headliner ventriloquist Paul Zerdin perform, something that is not possible with the lift out of operation.

To make matters worse, Katie’s husband David revealed the message from Butlin’s was sent to them with the wrong name on it. A resort spokesman said it was ‘regrettable’ the lift isn’t working and they were ‘very sorry’ for the ‘technical error’ which saw the correspondence mislabelled. He said the guests had been offered the option to rebook but they were keen to go on February 9 due to the group booking. The spokesman said they had spoken to the guests and explained they will still be able to access the other evening venue – Reds. “We have also arranged for £150 in resort vouchers to be in their pack on arrival as a gesture of goodwill.”

Katie said this meant she will be left with entertainment aimed at the under sevens and the compensation was ‘a bit of a mick take’ as the trip cost more than £1,200. “I said to the lady I don’t have a choice but to accept the money do I? Then I found out it is all vouchers so if I used it they get it back again, I can’t go in to the town and think I will treat myself while my family are watching the show.”