Wrexham AFC are once more bringing supporters closer to the action by expanding and increasing our accessible travel for supporters.
Our Disability Liaison Officer Kerry Evans launched the pioneering scheme for the 2018/19 season which received plaudits from across the football community by giving our less able supporters the chance to follow the Dragons on the road.
With trips to the likes of Solihull Moors, Chesterfield and Halifax last term, the service will now be available again with more trips scheduled for this year starting with Notts County this weekend – the first of ten games during 2019/20.
“It’s something I started when I came in last season that I felt very passionately about, that people in wheelchairs should be able to get to away games” said Kerry Evans.
After raising the sponsorship to help fund the initiative last year, the success and overwhelming support of Kerry’s project has been backed by local businesses in Wrexham and beyond.
“We’ve had sponsorship from WB Environmental last season who gave £1,000 which went a long way to helping with fundraising efforts and they’ve come back this season and given that again towards the travel.
“We’ve been lucky enough to have the Fat Boar come on board, they’ve run the ‘DLO burgers’ which has raised £1,600 towards it.
“We’re hoping to get to ten games this season which is going to cost around the region of £3,500 and we’re determined to make it happen so that we can keep going”.
Not only is this a way for more supporters to back the reds on the road but the emotional reconnection between fans who’ve lost the ability to follow their side has been perhaps the greatest factor of them all, with the scheme reuniting them with days out to create new memories and be among fellow reds away from the Cae Ras.
“We had grown men in tears, we had a guy who’s been a lifelong supporter who had never ever been to an away game because his family wouldn’t travel out of Wrexham and that was very emotional.
“It’s been absolutely unbelievable, we had ten regular users last season who got at least two or three games apiece so it’s helping a lot of wheelchair users."
Demand for the service has been high and Kerry has confirmed that the service is more than half full for the games ahead. Due to high demand for the first time ever, Kerry has had to add a second bus for the final away game of the campaign at Stockport County in April 2020.
Sponsors Tony and Kevin Williams from WB Environmental commented “We’ve been to dozens and dozens of away games over the years and thought it would be great if less able fans could have the same opportunity that we’ve had over the years.
“When Kerry advertised for some sponsorship we didn’t think twice to offer that to take fans to away games that we’ve enjoyed”.
Richard Watkin from the Fat Boar – a new sponsor for the season – added “[I’m a] massive believer that if somebody wants to go and support Wrexham then there should be no obstacle to getting to a home or away fixture.
“I was delighted to play just a small part in helping to make that a little bit easier financially for Kerry. The work Kerry is doing, has done, means as a club we are one of, if not the, leading club when it comes to providing equal opportunities for all people.
“The time and effort people give up make the away travel possible for all disabled club members is truly inspiring and we were just happy to support in any way we could. I’m delighted that the money we have donated will mean that more fans than ever can attend more away games”