Updated: Friday, 17th November 2017 @ 12:59pm

Trafford trampoline park's classes for autistic kids make inclusivity the primary target

Trafford trampoline park's classes for autistic kids make inclusivity the primary target

| By Kayley Dickinson

Jump Nation is a benchmark for equal opportunities, providing unique experiences to disability sufferers.

The UK’s leading indoor trampoline park sits on Manchester’s doorstep and was opened in August last year.

Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength and managing director Michelle Ball has spoken exclusively to MM on what she believes sets Jump Nation apart from its rivals.

The trampoline park, in Trafford Park, offers classes for autism sufferers and also caters for other disability sufferers in many ways.

Michelle, who founded the company with her husband, has stressed how providing equal opportunities is a fundamental principle of the trampoline park and said her inspiration for ensuring this remains the case.

“A couple of my friends have autistic children and they find it very difficult to find facilities that will cater for their specific needs,” she said.

“It is widely recognised that trampolining helps children and adults who suffer from autism spectrum disorders with their motor, sensory and communication skills.”

During these sessions, the capacity of the venue is halved, the music is lowered and anything necessary is done to ensure the conditions are as suitable and comfortable as possible.

Michelle, who founded the park with her husband, says that when it comes to providing these kinds of opportunities, financial gain is simply not and should not be a priority.

“These sessions take place on one Saturday ever month, during peak hours, when the arena would otherwise be completely full,” said Michelle, who began the project when she was six weeks pregnant with her son.

“This does not make financial sense so if our priority was to maximise profit, we would opt against doing this – but this does not matter to us.

“We believe that providing these services is a way of giving something back and saying thank you to everyone for the success that we have had.”

The classes have proved extremely popular and are always fully booked as ASD sufferers can enjoy a whole family experience at the park with their family and friends.

Michelle said: “The popularity is there because there are so few activities for them to do collectively as a family.

“We have had parents crying at the sessions because their child has made a break-through.

“One parent saw their child approach someone and hug them – they had never done this before.”

Instances such as these demonstrate how the park offers so much more than just an outlet for fun exercise, with inclusivity lying at the heart of the 14-year-old business.

“We have always tried and will continue to try and be as inclusive as possible,” said Michelle.

“We want to be accessible to everyone and rebound therapy is beneficial to people with a variety of disabilities, regardless of its nature.

“We have purchased slings that carry people up the stairs and onto the trampolines and that allows them to come with their carers who come in free of charge.

“The people with disabilities often sit or lie on the trampoline while their carers bounce around them and this creates a really nice sensation for them.”

Interest has also come from Manchester’s additional-needs schools, who regularly attend classes at Jump Nation during term-time, with the park now established as a permanent fixture in these school’s calendars.

The success of Jump Nation is unprecedented and Michelle took the opportunity to thank the people of Manchester for their role in making the company what it is today.

“We have been very fortunate that Jump Nation is widely known around Manchester - most people know about it or know someone who has been,” she said.

Manchester people have really taken it to their hearts and we value the fact that they have come back time and time again.

“No matter how old you are, everybody enjoys trampolines – it brings back a sense of nostalgia and that freedom of fun that you sometimes forget as you get older.

“We are very glad to have been able to offer it to Manchester first.”