Unlucky strike for bowling youngsters

Sew Grove Hill

Young people with disabilities are losing a vital part of their social life after a popular 10-pin bowling centre cut its evening concessionary rate.

The group of youngsters with Down’s Syndrome have been going to Bowlplex in Tunbridge Wells for years, and until last month tickets were £2.50 – half the normal adult rate – while carers were free.

Since January the concessionary rate no longer applies after 6pm and carers now have to pay.

Sol Stanhope, whose son attends Upz and Downz day centre in Mereworth, said: “I don’t think it’s fair. It’s something they really enjoy and makes them feel independent.”

Jo Jeffrey, who works at the centre, said: “The cost of bowling going up will have quite a big impact. There are few places for them to go around here.”

Matthew Hart, spokesman for the Original Bowling Group, confirmed evening concessions had been cut, but added: “Many different community groups are using our facilities. They are an important part of our business, so we will be speaking to the management of Bowlplex about this.”

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