It’s easy to take the weekly supermarket shop for granted; you just pop in with the kids, get what you need and go, right? But for families who have children with special needs, it can be an extremely challenging, or even impossible, task.
The GoTo Shop trolley, which is transforming shopping trips for special needs families in the UK and USA, is now available in Australia
What is the GoTo Shop Trolley?
The GoTo Shop Trolley comes with a secure five-point harness, padded seat and open front for secure transfer and is suitable for children up to 35kg.
Designed with conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy, down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder in mind, the trolley is safe comfortable and easy to use with children up to the age of 10.
It is the latest invention from Firefly by Leckey, the Irish manufacturer which has transformed lives for disabled children and their families across the world with the now famous Upsee walking harness.
Global grassroots push makes big brands take notice
Thanks to a successful social awareness campaign that saw thousands of Britons petitioned their local supermarket, more than 3,000 GoTo Shops are now in use in stores across the UK, including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Dunnes Stores.
A powerful North American push followed suit soon after; currently, families across the United States and Canada are voicing their need for more accessible shopping centres and grocery stores, and retailers are starting to listen.
GoTo Shop starts it’s Aussie endeavour
With more than Australian 144,000 children living with a physical disability, there is a lot of demand for the trolley seat. The Aussie crusade has just begun, with Active Rehab at the helm.
To kick-off the campaign, we’re asking parents to visit their favourite retailers in-store and online and ask them to offer the adapted trolleys.
Miracle Mama, Natalie supports the appeal
Once such supporter is Melbourne Mum and Miracle Mama blogger, Natalie Roberts-Mazzeo.
Natalie's four-year-old daughter Chiara has the rare neurological condition, Polymicrogyria as well as Microcephaly. Chiara needs additional support for sitting, so even as a toddler, it wasn't safe for her to sit in a shopping trolley.
Natalie says the importance of the new shopping trolley cannot be underestimated.
“For parents of disabled children, it is the little things that make a big difference," Natalie said.
"Often we have to order our shopping online, but I prefer to go to the store and choose my own produce. Plus, it's nice to go shopping as a social experience and a break from work, housework and medical appointments.
“So this trolley can be a real game changer for families like mine, making shopping not just possible but enjoyable too.
“It's great to see people recognising the vital need for these trolleys, but more needs to be done to convince Aussie retailers to jump on board.
"I asked my local supermarket to offer the trolley, and they were very obliging - raising the idea with head office. I would encourage families to ask their local stores and join the campaign.”
You can support the GoTo Shop campaign too!
The GoTo Shop trolley campaign is about the special needs community working together to tell every supermarket about the difference a GoTo Shop trolley can make.
It’s easy to join the movement, just:
1. Visit www.activerehab.net.au/community and sign up as a supporter
2. Download the flyer and take it to your favourite stores
3. Share your support on social media and encourage your friends to join
Retailers interested in supporting the campaign can contact Active Rehab for more information.