On Saturday 30th April 2016, I had a very busy day in Liverpool and attended not one but two events! This blog post is going to be MASSIVE, so I would suggest going to grab yourself a drink or a snack before reading it. This is a full day of what happened in part two of my day. If you want to read about part one then please feel free to do so by clicking here..
Next was onto my event, #NWMeet 2.0, which was held in Ameriesko. Before I go to any event I always look at the website of the venue and contact them about disabled access, and after looking on their website I couldn't find anything about disability access so I decided to contact them on a phone number which was provided by Google. I asked about wheelchair access and disabled toilets etc and the person I spoke to on the phone told me that the venue was on street level, there was a spacious lift to take me down into the basement to where the event was being held and there was also a disabled toilet down in the basement which I could use if I needed to. Seemed great, placed a ticket with the beautiful Katy who organised the #NWMeet and I was so excited to come along to the event. Little did I know that it was going to be one of the worst places I had ever visited...
Ameriesko is a coffee and cake cafe on Bold Street. It's one of Liverpool’s newest place that blends Coffee and Cake, Music and Television and Liverpool and America! Think of a coffee shop in an American university and it's pretty much what Ameriesko is like and to be honest, I don't mind that. The décor in there is awesome, signed pictures from movies and TV shows fill the walls - I personally wanted to take home the Game of Thrones or The Big Bang Theory framed signed pictures!
When arriving to the venue I was really upset to noticed that the venue wasn't at all on street level like I was told and there were three steps up to the venue. Thankfully I had Phil pushing me in my wheelchair so he pushed me around the side and the back to see if there was any other way into the venue, there wasn't. So we went back around to the front and he parked me up outside of everyone's way and went inside. He explained to the staff member on the till that I was a blogger attending the event and that I was in a wheelchair, is there any access, the staff member told him they have a ramp so Phil said 'great' and walked back outside thinking the member of staff would follow him. He didn't. So we thought maybe he was a little busy and would come out when he can. So after then sitting and waiting for five minutes, outside the venue, in the rain, Phil went back inside and asked the male member of staff again and he then followed him outside to me.
The member of staff but the ramp on the steps, it didn't fit, so he asked Phil if he could lift my wheelchair over the first step and then he can push me up the ramp over the other two. Firstly - the ramp didn't even fit on the other two steps it was more like a sea-saw the way it was balancing, secondly - after being hurt being by Phil tipping me and getting me over the first step, the member of staff just goes "here, we'll just lift her other the steps".
1] Do not make out that me, who is sat right in front of you in this wheelchair, non-existent.
2] Do not think that you can just touch and pick up my wheelchair whenever you want to without asking my permission when I am sitting in it!
3] When I tell you that I don't want to do that, DO NOT tell me that your mother is in a wheelchair and you pick her up all the time and it doesn't bother her!! The whole "I know someone like that so you must be the same" thing is really rude.
4] When I then tell you again not to touch my wheelchair do not go "okay sound", put the ramp away and go back into the cafe and leave me outside in the rain!
After being left outside I the rain, I tweeted this tweet, and Katy the event organiser came outside to see what was going on. I explained to her what had happened, she went inside to see how they could help, and then she came back outside and in the end; I had to stand up and out of the wheelchair and with Katy's help she had to help me walk up the three steps. Once finally inside the venue, Phil and me found a seat and he went and bought a drink of sprite. We waited in the venue for about 20 minutes until the basement area was ready and when it was time to go downstairs we headed over to the lift. A different male member of staff came to 'help' us this time. After pressing the lift button a few times the door finally opened to reveal a really small lift, with two DJ speakers in it. Instead of removing the speakers to make room for me, the staff member just put one on top of the other and pressed the button. The button didn't work, so the staff member had to then keep hold of the button to get us down into the basement, when Phil asked if the lift got used a lot the staff member replied "not really no". When we got to the button and Phil backed me out of the lift... bang! There was about a 3-5cm drop to the floor. Now to someone who had awesome legs that doesn't seem like much but someone in a wheelchair - it bloody hurts!!
Phil pushed me into the room were the event was taking place and there was yet another set up to where a group of bloggers were sitting with Katy. I was so nervous going to this event in my wheelchair to begin with, and after the trouble of the venue I wanted to cry, not one blogger sitting there asked if I needed help up the step or if I was okay. It made me feel horrible and like I was invading their space. I wanted to leave and even considered it at a couple of moments. Phil picked a chair up from on top of the steps and sat with me, Katy came over and asked if I was okay and I told her that I was waiting for Danielle as to be honest, if Danielle wouldn't have been coming to the event I would have left there and then. Danielle is a trained nurse so knows how to help me etc. About five minutes after Danielle, Dan (who's YT videos are amazing - check her out), Emma, Emma's mum, and two other bloggers I've never met before came in and I felt like my heart could burst! I wasn't alone, I had friends!
Bloom and Wild sent over some flowers for a competition of who could take the best picture and put it on their instagram, although we don't know who has won yet or what the prize is - I'm sure it's a pretty great prize! If you don't know Bloom and Wild already they are a flower delivery company which carefully selects, hand-packed flowers which are then posted through the door, with free next day delivery.
The event itself was awesome! We had an awesome talk from Weleda all about Skin Food and how awesome it is for your skin, I hadn't even heard of Weleda before until the event and I'm so glad I have done now as after sampling their products they don't only smell amazing but help your skin in amazing ways too. They started up in 1921 as a pharmaceutical laboratory, with its own medicinal plant garden, is today a world-leading manufacturer of holistic natural cosmetics as well as pharmaceuticals for anthropological therapy. All of their products are cruelty free and are suitable for vegetarians, plus the ingredients are all grown in their gardens in Derbyshire where you can actually go tour the gardens yourself and see how it's all made etc.
We had some free drinks sent to us from Fentiman's Sparkling Lime and Jasmine fermented botanical drink with lime flower and herbal extracts, and a Tree Vitalise unsweetened birch water organic. A couple of bloggers who tried the drinks at the event said they both have a very 'interesting' taste so I brought mine how with me to have - I actually really like them. They are very healthy drinks and are syn free apparently to so slimming world members should really check them out!
We also had a raffle where I won a weekend away travel bag with matching make up, bathroom bag and purse to match and I got to meet two new lovely bloggers who I plan to stay in touch with. Whilst at the event I bought a coffee, chocolate milkshake and cheese hot dog which I can't fault. The food in Ameriesko is so tasty!
When we were ready to leave, I asked Danielle to go upstairs for me and get a member of staff to let me back up in the lift. The member of staff came down, who was the same guy who took us down in the lift, and pressed the lift button for the doors to open. It wouldn't. After pressing it, and pressing it, and pressing it, the door finally opened and Phil tipped me back to get me over the step into the lift and then got me inside - with the DJ speakers still one on top of the other one.
I noticed then that the control panel in the lift is hanging off so when you press the button, you really have to keep it pressed in for it to work. Sadly, the lift wouldn't work and after the member of staff trying and trying my anxiety was starting up play up since the lift kept making noises and not moving - this went on for about 5 minutes. I told the member of staff I felt no longer safe and needed to get out. So the doors opened again and we were still in the basement! Phil then carefully pulled me backwards out of the lift (this time I was expecting the drop), the member of staff says "so you don't want to use it?" I replied "no, it's not safe" and he then says "sound" and walked upstairs! This shocked me a lot because anyone else would obviously have asked if I was okay or needed any help etc. Phil then pushed me back into the event room and I had to ask Danielle to help me up the stairs. I literally had to walk up the stairs to get myself out of the venue with Danielle's help. If she wouldn't have been there I have no idea what I would have done so thank you so much to her for helping me. We had to stop half way because the pain was so bad and two days after the event I was bed ridden because my knees and ankles had swelled up so bad.
Important: Even though I did enjoy the food - I do not like this venue. Not only was I lied to about the street level access, the staff are rude and unhelpful and that lift is broken and I'd advise everyone not to use it unless you want to be stuck in there. I do not recommend this venue at all to anyone who is a spoonie, wheelchair user or disabled in any way shape or form.
I do want to say a massive thank you to Katy who did do an awesome event for us bloggers, and the help that she did give me into the venue was lovely so thank you!
My goodie bag contained:
NWMeet 2.0 milk chocolate bar
NWMeet 2.0 organiser journal
MOA Aphrodite favial oil
Sassy stash cosmetics bag
Tropic soothing cleanser gel
Topic bamboo cloth
Wet brush-pro detangle professional hair brush
I love... lemon meringue whipped sugar body scrub
Derma V10 raspberry ripple sorbet body butter
Derma V10 fusion cherry and macadama body butter
Derma V10 multi-radiance cream with SPF 15
Vatika Naturals egg protein rejuvenating shampoo
Professor scrubbington's hair and body wash
Kypris body elixir [x2]
Yoshi linchfield keyring and dust bag
Pretty Serious 'the night before...' nail polish
Pretty Serious 'irresistinly pink' nail polish
Makeup Geek pressed eye shadow pan [shade barcelona beach]
Makeup Geek foiled eye shadow pan [shade charmed]
Shiro Cosmetics 'theres no such thing as magic' eye dust sample
Netcta Perfecta by Bee Good beautifying mask
Elegant Touch 'new super-flex' false nails
Weleda Skin Food skin cream [x5]
Blistex Happy Lips 'mouth water mango' lip balm
Murad exfoliating age reform cleanser
Pink o'clock prismologie hand and cuticle cream
Clearista retexturizing gel
The Balm Boutique heavenly hands balm and scoop
The Balm Boutique chocolate milk lip gloss
Eye shadow blending brush
I loved the event even though the venue was utter bollocks and I hope I can attend the next #NWMeet, although if it's going to be held in Ameriesko I won't be attending as I can't see myself ever wanting to be in that venue again. I hope you all enjoyed this blog post, even though it was super long!
Alisha Valerie. x
[Disclaimer: This blog post is not sponsored. All comments and opinions are my own.]