Southampton FC takes pride in services provided for disabled fans and enablers

24 October 2017
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Southampton FC takes pride in services provided for disabled fans and enablers

This year, an extensive amount of facilities have been added as the club continues to work on improving the supporter experience and making St Mary’s accessible for as many people as possible.
The club is in the top quartile of Premier League clubs for accessibility and has recently hosted a conference for the charity Level Playing Field to share best practice.

Below is a list of the new facilities currently available to our disabled supporters and their enablers at St Mary’s:

  • Our ‘Changing Places Facility’ – People with profound or multiple disabilities may need more than one carer to assist them with toileting, or need specialist equipment such as a hoist and adjustable bed. We can now meet these needs, ensuring the comfort and safety of visitors that would otherwise be unable to come to football.
  • A Sensory Room or Quiet Room – Children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety disorders, and other disabilities that can affect their ability to cope with unfamiliar environments, noise, new sights and smells, can now make use of our new space. The room is a fantastic tool used to help ease fans into the stadium experience, helping families work towards being able to comfortably watch football in the general admission areas.
  • Hearing loops – We have improved our systems at our Ticket Office, and added loops to our receptions and both club stores. We also now have new loops on our concourses, ensuring there is a facility in each of our main units.
  • Additional wheelchair spaces – We’ve re-introduced a raised-deck area for visiting fans to enjoy the view from an elevated position, while still being among their own fans.
  • Hospitality – Guests in our suites who have reduced dexterity can now benefit from the addition of easy-grip cutlery. We also have additional chairs for visitors with different needs. For those who are partially sighted, we have improved our stairs and corridors by adding contrasting handrails and detailing.
  • Toilet facilities – We have new features, such as contrasting walls and seats for partially-sighted fans, as well as paper dispensers that can be used with one hand.
Our previous services, such as Dial-a-Ride for fans within the city of Southampton, the availability of special accessibility stewards on matchdays, and disabled parking are still available. More details can be found in our Supporter Services section at southamptonfc.com.
As Saints fans know, “We never stop” and we are keen to continue to improve our facilities further. To do so, we are keen to hear from our disabled fans and their enablers and families. If you think you can help us to better understand your matchday experience and needs, and want to share ways in which we could improve it, we would love to hear from you.
Our first ‘Accessibility Focus Group’ meeting is to be held at 2pm on Thursday 26th October at St Mary’s Stadium. Spaces are limited, so to request to join the group, please contact our Supporter Relations team on supporterrelations@saintsfc.co.uk or 02380 711980.

Reporting discrimination

To help us tackle discrimination, as part of the One March equality initiative, we’ve introduced a new text number that will make it easy for you to report any instances of discrimination or abuse that you witness in the stadium or at an away match.
To report anything you see or hear at a game, simply text onemarch to 60060 with a description of what you’ve witnessed and your location so we can tackle it appropriately and discreetly.
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