Play Factore bosses review drinks ‘ban’ after diabetic children controversy

This Is Lancashire: A DAY out at a play centre turned sour for these three disappointed youngsters, from left, Sam Crutchley, aged seven, Luke Marsh, aged five, and Josh Taylor, aged 10 A DAY out at a play centre turned sour for these three disappointed youngsters, from left, Sam Crutchley, aged seven, Luke Marsh, aged five, and Josh Taylor, aged 10

BOSSES at a play centre which banned three mums from taking a potentially life-saving drink into the building are now reviewing its policy.

Staff at Play Factore, in Trafford Park, told Lucy Marsh, Jane Fletcher and Joanne Taylor they were not allowed to take in a carton of apple juice for their sons, who all have type one diabetes.

Ms Marsh, aged 28, of Whalley Road, Bury, was told she would have to buy another drink for five-year-old Luke or administer the juice outside the premises due to their health and safety policy.

Luke, a pupil at Lowercroft Primary School, wears an insulin pump 24-hours a day and Ms Marsh must always have sugary drinks on hand in case he goes into hypoglycaemia.

Ms Fletcher, with seven-year-old son Sam and Ms Taylor, accompanying 10-year-old Josh, were also told they could not enter with drinks brought from home.

After the incident on February 2, Play Factore’s public Facebook page was subjected to hundreds of negative messages from the parents of children with type one diabetes.

A statement from the owners which was recently uploaded to the same page, reassured parents the matter was being reviewed.

The statement added: “Safety at the Play Factore is one of our highest priorities; as such the Play Factore is committed to providing a safe and fun environment for everyone.

"We are happy that despite events that have transpired everyone concerned was able to enjoy the Play Factore without incident on the day.

“We are now reviewing the advice, concerns and feedback provided and we will endeavour to keep you appraised of all progress where we can.

“Rest assured we aim to take all appropriate action in this matter.”

All three mums say they have still not received any response to their formal complaint and are “disappointed” by the centre’s position. Ms Marsh added: “This does not go anywhere near far enough and continues to show a complete lack of empathy.

“All we want is a change in policy and an improved attitude from Play Factore. Luke is registered disabled and the attitude of staff obstructed access, a breach of the Disability Act.

“This drink is medical equipment and is no different from insulin. It is the tried-and-tested process we have used to raise Luke’s blood sugar levels for the past two years and contains the exact amount of carbohydrate needed.

“Would they deny access to an asthma sufferer or someone in a wheelchair? Because that it was it comes down to, discrimination.”

Play Factore defended its decision to ban customer-purchased food and drink and said it offered a wide range of products to cater for serious dietary requirements.

A spokesman said the three mums stayed at Play Factore with their children for more than two hours following the incident.

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