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Call for awareness of hidden disabilities after woman wrongly thrown out of Shrewsbury Wetherspoons

By Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | Health | Published:

A polio sufferer wants people to be more aware of hidden disabilities after a Shropshire woman with a brain injury was mistakenly thrown out of a Shrewsbury pub when staff thought she was drunk.

Grace Currie

Grace Currie, who has cognitive impairment, which affects her speech and mobility, was kicked out of the Shrewsbury Hotel in Bridge Street, on Saturday night.

Despite an apology from JD Wetherspoon, which owns the pub, David Mitchell, national chairman of The British Polio Fellowship, said the incident shows the need for greater awareness of hidden disabilities.

Bar staff mistook Ms Currie's disability for drunkenness and she was forcibly removed without her bag, coat and purse.

The 24-year-old from Bagley, near Ellesmere, suffered a brain injury when she was hit by a car in 2010.

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Mr Mitchell said: "Sadly this does not come as a surprise to the millions of us who live with invisible disabilities.

"I along with 120,000 others in the UK who live with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), a neurological condition often with no visible signs, know how Grace must have felt, having had similar experiences.

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"Some of us use wheelchairs or scooters, but those who don’t have any visibly obvious mobility aids find themselves having to prove their disability.

"While often the result of ignorance rather than pre-conceived malice, this is cold comfort if you already fear to venture out, knowing you will face transport struggles and potential humiliation."

Grace, who was at an 18-35 group meet-up and was supported by her personal assistant, Netty Brook, had only had one alcoholic drink when she was accused of being too drunk.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said he hopes the incident will help staff manage future similar scenarios with better understanding.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

News reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering North Shropshire, including Ellesmere, Whitchurch and Wem.

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