Butlins bans group of adults with learning disabilities

A group of 26 adults with severe learning difficulties have been turned away from a Butlins holiday resort because they were told large groups are 'intimidating'.

The Firth Park Friday Club from Sheffield who were accompanied by 10 carers have visited Butlins in Skegness for 19 years but this year the resort refused the regulars entry as they found 'large all-adult groups very intimidating.'

When the club tried to book this year's break they were told that large groups were only accepted 'at the resort director's discretion'.

Christina Staniland, 86, whose son Gary 59 travels with the club and has Down's syndrome, relying on day and respite care, said the group was 'heartbroken' and 'angry'.

Butlins released a statement saying that that due to the group size 'growing in recent years' it was 'unable to accept this group unless they come in two smaller groups on different breaks'.

'We do not generally accept large all-adult parties during family holiday breaks. In this particular case the party consisted of 36 adults,' the company said.

'We would be more than delighted to welcome this group if they can be split into two parties on different breaks.'

Mrs Staniland said splitting the group for separate dates wasn't an option as the council funding was only for a certain date. She said the decision was 'shocking' and the group hadn't received any complaints in the past.

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