When buying a disabled ticket for a Saints game, you will get a second free ticket for an enabler.
The free enabler ticket is for you to bring a suitable friend or relative to help you get to St Mary’s, to get around St Mary’s, and to leave St Mary’s after the game. Your enabler should be able to fully look after you, and your needs, and stay with you whilst at St Mary’s.
If you have any kind of medical problems that require specialist knowledge if issues arise, it would be beneficial if your enabler has that knowledge. Although the stewards have basic first aid skills, they have not been trained to deal with the majority of medical problems that disabled supporters may have.
The SDSA feel that the subject of disabled enablers is important, and this was brought to the forefront at a recent home game.
A disabled supporter was taken ill after suffering a mini stroke during the game. The supporter always has the same enabler who is fully aware that the situation may happen and knows what to do to help if it does happen.
The stewards were there to help on this occasion, but the level of medical knowledge needed for this emergency was beyond them, so having the enabler with the specialist knowledge there meant that the problem was kept to a minimum.
Having a less knowledgeable enabler would have meant that there would have been a wait for a fully trained first aider or paramedic to arrive which may have made the problem worse.
The supporter spent the night in hospital and was discharged the following day, and has been to St Mary’s since (with their enabler).
The SDSA would like to point out that the free enabler ticket is for a competent helper for the disabled supporter, and should preferably has some awareness of any specific medical needs they may have or possible medical emergencies that may occur.
If your normal enabler cannot attend with you for a game, please make sure that you chose a suitable replacement.
Please note, the disabled supporter and their enabler should enter the stadium together, as the enabler is likely to be refused entry if they try to enter without the disabled supporter they are there to look after.