Come check out the go-karting experience that nowhere else in the UK offers.
The Experience is a venue out in Hillington that hosts activities such as laser tag and go-karting. However, there is something that makes this place unique and different to any other go-karting place in the whole of the UK and that is accessible karting.
Accessible karting is a service provided by the Kibble group, a charity and social enterprise that helps build a positive future for young people. The Experience give Victoria Ross- the organiser of the accessible karting service- as well as a variety of young people the chance to work with people who have disabilities and provide the chance for them to experience go-karting.
Many people are unable to try go-karting on their own due to a disability. Thanks to the Kibble group and The Experience, this is no longer an issue. With specialised karts, drivers can go inside the kart with customers and drive them around the track, allowing them to get the sensation many will take for granted. After a while, Victoria and the young drivers will attempt to teach the customers how to drive on their own with many of them managing a full 10 minutes of driving.
Having gotten the opportunity to go down there ourselves and witness everything first hand, it gave us a much better understanding of what the service provides and the significance of it. We were able to speak to Victoria, some of the drivers and some of the customers. It is clear the team work hard to ensure the safety of customers while also providing an exceptional day for them. Customers and carers where also enthusiastic about the service and it is clear the accessible karting service is a well-executed event.
For the young workers, the accessible karting programme is a great opportunity to work with a variety of people and gain valuable skills. All the young staff were mature and took their job seriously while also having a laugh. This high level of staff and good atmosphere suggests the programme really helps everyone feel involved and improves the quality of life for everyone.
Victoria talked about her involvement with the young drivers. She said: “For them it’s giving them the opportunity to drive go-karts which is good fun, but also to learn about different types of disabilities and engage with disabilities they might never engage with.
“It also helps them build confidence, communication skills, social skills and empathy as well. For me, giving them the chance to come out here, drive go-karts and meet new people, it’s just a really good thing to do.”
The sessions cost £10 per person which is enough to cover the running costs, however, no profit is made as they are a charity and don’t aim for profit, they aim to help as many people as they can.
There is a café on sight which allows customers to interact with each other and for everyone to build relationships giving a community feel to the whole set up.
After speaking with Victoria, we gained a huge insight into the emotional impact it has on everyone including the families of those involved. She explained to us how there was a family who never believed their child would be able to drive. After several sessions they allowed the boy to go out and drive on his own and he managed the whole 10 minutes which left the parents in tears.
She said, “The boy had autism and me and one of the young people went on the go-kart track and his dad said he’ll only manage one lap. We trained him how to drive and he lasted the full ten minutes and his mum and dad were crying at the side.”
The story really highlights what The Experience is all about. It isn’t just another business, but it is a group of people thinking about more than just their own day to day lives and instead doing everything they can to help those that may sometimes be overlooked.
Overall, I couldn’t recommend The Experience enough. The staff are well trained and very welcoming. Despite a lot of the drivers being young, they were professional and also gave us a good laugh. On top of this Victoria was very helpful and worked very well with all the customers and their families. For anyone who this service may appeal to, it is well worth getting in contact. You can get in contact via their website which has all the contact information at the bottom. Giving it a try is well worth… the experience.
By Kyle Mcleod