A new leisure discount card for children and young people with disabilities has been revealed.
The Compass Card West Sussex offers discounts on 50 leisure activities across the county which could save families hundreds of pounds every year.
More than 600 people took part in free activities including archery, zipwires and an adventure trail during its launch event yesterday (April 8).
Cllr Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children - Start of Life, said: “We want this new card to break down the barriers which stop people from accessing services which other children and young people take for granted.
“Families will be able to find out easily which activities are adapted for children with disabilities and we hope it will also encourage more leisure services to extend their offerings.
“The first 200 cards have already been sent out and new applications are being made every day.”
A council spokesman said the card was available to more than 5,000 under 25-year-olds who are living or going to school in West Sussex, and have a disability or special educational need that has a ‘big effect’ on their daily life.
She said: “Families signing up for the Compass Card West Sussex will be added to the county’s disability register and their personal information will be held securely under strict Data Protection legislation. Local charity Amaze, who has been commissioned to manage the discount card and the disability register, will also be able to collate anonymous data to help West Sussex County Council plan for the future more effectively.
“Amaze has developed a similar offer in Brighton and Hove which is recognised as a national model of best practice and is estimated to save families around £700 per year.”
Lisa Kendall, from Felpham, whose son Alfie has autism, said: “There’s so many things we go to with Alfie and he can’t really participate in some activities so it will be nice to get a discount which reflects this.”
Naomi Nowell, from Hove, has been using the existing Compass Card with her six-year-old son Jack, who has autism. She said: “It is so important to keep them entertained but it means we are constantly paying to go out to things so I use the discount card all the time. It’s really good and we end up doing lots with it. The new card will open up so much to our families.”
A total of 50 offers are listed in the Compass Card West Sussex guide.
The spokesman said its free GPS-linked app would be updated weekly as the number of offers grows. It was available in the Apple App Store or in Google Play by searching ‘compass card’ and had the capacity to filter according to age, location and activity type.
Discounts on offer include:
• Activus Soft Play & Children’s Activity Centre, in Worthing - the first session is free and free entry for one accompanying carer
• Chichester Festival Theatre - special offers on selected shows
• Impulse Leisure, in Southwick, Lancing, Storrington, Shoreham-by-Sea - with one carer to go free with a Compass Card holder
• K2 Crawley - free swimming and gym
• Out of Bounds, in Angmering - 10% discount on climbing, soft play and Foot Golf for the card holder
• Star Cars, a wheelchair accessible taxi service in and around Crawley, with 15% discount
• West Sussex libraries - free CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and audio book lending
For more information visit www.westsussex.gov.uk and search for Compass Card, email CompassWSx@amazebrighton.org.uk or call 0300 123 9186.
* Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.