The world’s first fully accessible fun run/push, Parallel London heads to London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 3 September for a second year, alongside the inaugural Free Family Festival with ten zones of entertainment.
Disabled and able-bodied people of all ages and abilities can join the run side-by-side, running, walking, pushing or being pushed with no cut-off times and the choice of 10km, 5km, 1km or 100m challenges.
They can also opt for the Super Sensory 1km course, full of multi-sensory experiences, from sound and scent to textures and colour including smell and light tunnels, bubbles, a ribbon canopy, parachute and wind chimes.
The sensory stimulation supports memory, which is useful for those with late-stage dementia or specific brain damage. And it’s been specially designed for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and those on the autistic spectrum, who primarily engage with the world in a sensory way.
A spokesperson said: “The festival is an ambitious and colourful celebration of inclusivity and the Mayor of London has pledged his support to it for the next five years.”
The event also features:
Active Lifestyle Zone
Wheelchari football-With wheelchairs for able-bodied guests, so everybody can play side-by-side and blind Cricket with glasses which replicate blindness; Wheelchair Rugby; Wheelchair Dance; World’s Strongest Disabled Man; Surfability offering surf lessons to those with special needs; Commando Active providing rehab, health, exercise and performance pathways and Disability Snowsport UK
Innovation Culture Zone
Newham Music’s free music-making activity, a Wac Arts movie-making workshop with green screen technology and digital orchestra and the interactiveElectric Umbrella Orchestra
Loyn Toys offers handmade toys which promote sensory education; Build your own #Desmond’s Dragon, hear the story and get the book signed; Pongathon Ping-Pong masterclasses, tournaments and competitions; Angus Baskerville using magic to overcome his ADHD and autism
Funtastic Tales bringing stories to life; Burlexecise IT classes; theatrical performances by the deaf and hearing DH Ensemble; Heal & Relax wellness workshops; Train Body Brain combines fitness, mindfulness and positive mantras; The Include Choir invites everybody to get involved with unifying and uplifting music.
Personal Development Zone
Wildcats Academy is a fully inclusive theatre school offering performances and workshops; Disability Sports Coach showcasing its award-winning programme; The Sensory Project’s tent to challenge seven of your sensory systems.
Autism Barbers Assemble helping special needs children tackle the fear of haircuts.
Robosavvy showcasing the Double 2 Telepresence robot; a11YHacks Treasure Hunt, Website Accessibility Experience and Coding Activities; Barclays Access All Areas demonstrates how they’re harnessing digital technology to eliminate barriers to accessibility; Playchimp’s quick game coding sessions; Blatchfords unveil their orthotics specialist seating and prostheses
Food & Drink Zone
Festimex Mexican; Lowe Powe Noodles; Valencia Paella; Strawberries & Greens smoothies, porridge, flapjack and soups.
Travel & Leisure Zone
Limitless Travel provides amazing holidays, tours, accommodation and travel for people living with disability
Showcasing the NOMAD, which attaches to your own wheelchair for greater access to soft or rough terrain
Livability Community Zone
Livability is a disability and community engagement charity, which tackles barriers in community life that cause disabled and vulnerable people to become socially isolated
There will also be two stages, with the Parallel Beats stage featuring a series of inspiring talks about people’s own journeys and beliefs about inclusion and the world of disability, and the Main Stacomparedred by MTV‘s The Mandeville sisters and featuring headliner JJ Rosa and a vibrant mix of theatre and music.