Your verdict: The Undateables

The people from of The Undateables

The Undateables is back for a third series. We asked on Twitter and Facebook what you thought of the show and here’s what you told us:

You really don’t like the title

“Why call this programme by this horrible title? Doesn’t this just perpetuate stigma?” – Pauline

“Can’t stand this show. Yes it shows that as disabled people date etc. but the title is an automatic barrier. Why are we UNdateable?” – Stixie

“Wish it was called something less awful.” – Davida

“I am really offended by the title.” – Christine

“I’ll be watching! The title is dreadful but the programme is really good at understanding disability.” – Elizabeth

Many of you enjoy watching the show

“I love the show. As a mother of a severely disabled little girl it gives a lovely insight to adult life of disabled people. People who take the mickey are just ignorant. I will be tuning in to watch every week” – Tanya

“The programme shows that the people on it are just people with feelings looking for love, like the next person” – Julie

“It’s actually an ironic title. A friend of mine was trying to get on to the programme. It’s seen through able bodied – so hence the title. But it turns out that they are not undateable but very pleasant people.” – Steve

“As a lesbian woman with diplegia and spastic cerebral palsy who is married with step children, I celebrate this program as it forces people who would be uncomfortable around disabled people to see just how ordinary we are in our need as any able bodied person.” – Tre

“I’m really looking forward to watching it. If you’re going to watch it with a closed mind, chances are, the program won’t change that – it’ll need much more than one show to make that much of a change.” – Faye

“Love this series. Good to see people’s personalities coming to the fore rather than their conditions.” – Heidi

But many worry that disabled people are being used for entertainment

“So many people sitting in their homes tonight will be taking the piss or passing their negative comments . Why is it so shocking that people with disabilities want to find love?” – Christine

“I love this program but I’m getting so fed up with lots of people taking the mickey out of them all!” – Sheenagh

“Personally I think it paints a bad viewpoint of disabled people, and I am disabled, so I have an idea.” – Shau

“Hate the title, hate the idea. Disabled people are not frickin entertainment.” – Shohna

“I also feel a small degree of shame and anger. Segregating disabled people from other dating shows and creating a special show angers me but I can’t quiet articulate how. It’s like deep down I’m feeling this anger because the show almost makes it look like while disabled people are great – it takes a special person to see past that an love them, when that’s not the truth.” – Tre

It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start

“The show has a long way to go, but maybe it’s a start. Having spoken to the creators on the phone, I realise they have a set agenda…” – Downs Side Up

“I think we have to start somewhere. Disability issues are so far off the mark and ignorance is the only reason for this.” – Emma

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

The kindness of strangers

Guest post from Hayley. Hayley’s daughter Beth is three and has cerebral palsy. After they were told Beth would have to wait up to two years for an appropriate wheelchair, the whole family pulled together to raise funds so that they could buy her the chair she so desperately needed. But then their story caught the eye of an American stranger, who stepped in to help out.

Beth and Hayley
Beth and Hayley

I have the pleasure of bringing up my four beautiful children, alongside my husband Mark.

When my youngest child Beth was born it wasn’t too much of a shock that she was premature, all my children were born early, my eldest at just 29 weeks. But we were so lucky, after short stays in hospital they all thrived.

Tip toes

But when Beth turned one I noticed that she was struggling to walk properly – she was walking on her tip toes. The doctors kept telling me it was something ‘she’d grow out of’.

Beth then started to have seizures, and just after her second birthday she was eventually diagnosed with both cerebral palsy and epilepsy. There were a lot of tears.

Due to her seizures and the effects they have on her she is at times unable to walk safely or at all, so we were referred to NHS Wheelchair Services. We were told it would be a long wait for a suitable chair – as long as two years!

Our family pulled together

My beautiful cousin Kiera then surprised me by saying that she had signed up to do the 50 mile Longmynd Hike to raise money to get Beth her wheelchair. We backed her in every way we could. We got in touch with our local paper and they came and took pictures of Beth and Kiera.

I put the resulting article in the paper on a blog which is called Kristen’s Life with Cerebral Palsy. I wanted to let people who might also be struggling to get the support they need know that fundraising is sometimes an option when the usual routes don’t work.

Letters from America

I then received an email from somebody that I will forever be indebted to. A woman called Judy had seen the newspaper article on the blog, explained that her daughter Lydia’s old but immaculate chair would be perfect for Beth, and that she would love to donate it to us.

I thought – ‘what an amazingly lovely thing to do’. But there was another hurdle to get over – a problem we thought it would be impossible to overcome – you see Judy lives in the USA!

After looking into couriers to bring the chair over, and finding that it would cost thousands of dollars, we felt the idea of ever getting the chair to Beth was lost.

Woman on a mission

Then earlier this year, on a very normal Friday, my husband received a call from Manchester airport saying there was a delivery currently going through customs for me. I was puzzled. We didn’t have a clue what it could be at first…then the penny dropped…

Unbeknown to us Judy had become a woman on a mission. She had got in touch with Delta airlines and told them the story. Days later they had taken the chair and within 24 hours the chair was in England, absolutely free of charge!

There are not enough ‘thank yous’ in the world to pay back the generosity of Judy for making the impossible possible.

Friendship and freedom

Whilst speaking with Judy through emails I had learnt that her daughter Lydia needed a special chair for school. We decided there and then to send some of the money we had raised for our campaign to kick-start their own fundraising appeal. We donated the rest to Shropshire Cerebral Palsy Society.

Beth, who is now three, can now go everywhere with us now without any worries at all, and she loves her new freedom.

Before all this started we felt afraid of the future and didn’t have a clue about fundraising. Now after a further two more fundraising events, in total we have actually managed to raise an amazing £4,090 for Shropshire Cerebral Palsy Society.

I am so very proud of my fantastic family and we really feel anything is possible now. I want to tell other people not to be forced to go without what your child needs. Fight for everything and you will be rewarded.