“It gets him out in the community. Football matches aren’t the easiest places, they are really crowded, and it is a really big help to him to integrate him into society and do what the community does which is go to football matches.”
Andy Fortster talks about how the sensory pack Tranmere Rovers provide to fans who find a matchday overwhelming helps his son Ethan Gartside.
At the start of the 2019/20 campaign Tranmere Rovers launched a new autism awareness initiative where we offer sensory packs to supporters who require them.
Enclosed within the sensory packs, fans can find earplugs, caps and other sensory toys all contained within an easy to carry bag. These Sensory Packs have all been made possible thanks to funding from the Lee Knight Foundation and Tranmere Rovers’ Disabled Supporters Association.
Supporters can also access a quiet room facility in the Argyle Satellite Taxis Kop Stand. The room can be used by anyone who needs a moment to themselves during the 90 minutes. From the Quiet Room, fans can decide if they’d like to retake their seats or leave the ground.
Meanwhile, alongside the sensory packs, the SLOs also offer fans a ‘Familiarisation Walk Around’ on non-match days. Fans can be shown around Prenton Park to gather an understanding of what to expect on a TRFC matchday.
Thursday 2nd April is Autism Awareness Day, a day used to help spread awareness and increase acceptance.
700,000 adults and children are affected by autism in the UK and this affects how they communicate and interact with the world often finding it a lot harder than most people.
That’s why here at Tranmere Rovers we are proud to provide this support on a matchday to ensure their experience is as easy and as comfortable for all supporters as possible.
Louise Formston, SLO at Tranmere Rovers, explained how the autism awareness initiative at the Club can help fans who may require its services.
She said: “We can aid anyone with sensory issues to get through the match if they find that the noise is too much from the crowd or the goal music and these things can work as an added distraction to calm any issues.
“Every football fans dream is sharing the rollercoaster ride of supporting their favourite team with their children. We’re making that dream a reality for families who thought it would never be a possibility and creating a new generation of Tranmere Rovers fans.
“The quiet room is actually the old reception which we have repurposed, it is a work in progress, but it serves as a purpose. It can be accessed by anyone and anyone who wants access to it can speak to a steward or an SLO.
“We want Tranmere Rovers to be accessible and inclusive for everyone wanting to come here to visit Prenton Park.”
To find out more about TRFC’s autism awareness initiative, you can contact our Match Day SLO’s via their social media, @TRFCSLO, or a steward.
Find out more about Tranmere Rovers in the Community HERE