Holidaying in the UK and abroad was always a minefield for former SAC Adrian Walton. Adrian, who was just 22 years old when he was paralysed during a training exercise in 1992, would turn up on his break only to find narrow doors, steps or damaged equipment, despite promises to the contrary in the brochures.
What should have been stress-free holidays would turn into a week of navigating obstacles. Until, that is, he discovered the RAF Benevolent Fund's RAF Disabled Holiday Trust (RAFDHT). Adrian tells us more.
The first holiday I went on was about six months after I left hospital following my accident. I went to a travel agent and said that I wanted somewhere that was wheelchair friendly and he found me somewhere in Majorca. When I got there it was anything but accessible – it was on a holiday complex and my apartment was at the top of seven steep stairs.
The bathroom door was too narrow and I had to take one of the wheels off my wheelchair every time I used the bathroom. I was booked in for a fortnight but had to return home by the end of the first week. This year I am returning to Majorca with the RAFDHT and I do not have a worry about the accommodation been adapted correctly.
I have been booking with the RAFDHT for about seven years and it is a pleasure to use. Unfortunately you get used to being told that somewhere is wheelchair friendly only to find that it isn’t but I have never had an issue with the RAF Disabled Holiday Trust.
Everything is perfect, you don't have to worry about a thing. Because of past experiences I always check accommodation before I go on holiday but RAFDHT properties provide what they say. They have thought of everything which means you don’t have to worry about a thing. I can't recommend them enough.
Adrian was injured in an accident in 1992 when his vehicle left the road while he was on exercise in the UK. The accident left him paralysed and when Adrian turned to the RAF Benevolent Fund for support with housing, we were able to buy him a specially-adapted Housing Trust property.
Find out more about holidays offered through the RAF Disabled Holiday Trust.