Cage Warriors CW132 York Hall Accessibility 

Emma smiles broadly at the camera. She has messy hair and is wearing glasses and a burgundy hoodie. She is holding up a beer bottle
Image Description: Emma smiles broadly at the camera. She has messy hair and is wearing glasses and a burgundy hoodie. She is holding up a beer bottle

Yet more clearing the backlog of accessibility reviews from the past year and a bit. This one from December 2021. My first trip back to Cage Warriors for CW132 at York Hall in London. 

(Disclaimer: I’m aware “accessibility” means different things to different people, as I said before, these are MY views on my experience of accessibility at this venue as an electric wheelchair user, I obviously can’t speak for other experiences but feel free to add your experiences in the comments!) 

Ticket Buying 

Event tickets were purchased by emailing Eventim through their customer service form. They then called me back (using the number I had left on the form) so I could book my access seating. The train tickets to London were booked through Trainline as usual. 


I Initially took my usual train from Birmingham New Street to London Euston. I then took the Tube (I believe it was the Jubilee Line, exiting at Canary Wharf), and switched to the DLR to head to Pudding Mill Lane where my hotel was. From my hotel I had to take a couple buses to York Hall, but I’ll discuss those a bit more in the venue section of the post. 


Ah the hotel, here’s the interesting part of this blog post. I wanted to make a booking at Snoozebox Olympic Park. Partly because it was close ish to the venue and partly because it seemed like a cool place to stay. After a phone conversation they let me know that they did have accessible rooms and to just book a standard room online and add into the notes about my need for an accessible room, so that’s what I did. Seems simple, right? Oh, so very wrong, this is where things go decidedly south. About 3 days before I was booked to stay, I realised I hadn’t heard anything and sent an enquiry across. It was then that I learned there was some issue (nothing was specified) with ALL the accessible rooms and that there had been a ‘staff consensus’ (without consulting me, the disabled person) to decide I wouldn’t be able to use a standard room. Essentially, with 3 days’ notice, I was a solo female disabled traveller left without a hotel room in the capital. Needless to say, I panicked and took to all the social media to see if any friends had somewhere to stay or knew of hotels nearby with last minute availability. This minor social media ‘campaign’ reached the attention of the hotel management, and I then received a call to say the issue with the accessible rooms had been sorted as a matter of priority and I would be able to stay as originally booked. I think this shows the importance of advocating for yourself and your access requirements, because if I didn’t in this situation I think I may well have been sleeping on the streets that night.

Upon arrival at the hotel, I noticed the rooms were in cabins (the easiest way to describe them) separate from the main hotel lobby. Whilst this was a cool place to stay and did have an accessible bathroom with roll in shower, there was a little ramp to enter the accessible room which was quite steep and made it difficult to get in and out of. This meant that I didn’t feel safe entering or exiting my room without assistance in case my wheelchair tipped up. 

Experience & Seating 

In terms of the venue, I took one bus about halfway to the venue before getting off that and taking a short walk to switch buses in order to get to the bus stop closest to the venue. From there I rolled up to the standard entrance to the venue, which had a significant flight of steps. From here, staff took me round to a separate side entrance. This also had steps but there was a stairlift (honestly quite an old looking one) which took me up the stairs and I was able to go from there to my seat. To say I’d actually had to go upstairs to get to it, my seat was actually on the ground floor level of the the venue. Accessible seating entailed simply removing a seat from the back row of this ground floor seating in order for me to park my chair in. Whilst I like this approach to access seating as it means I get to be part of the crowd, it does have one major issue as my view is almost completely blocked if those in from of me stand, such as at an exciting finish to a fight. Once the fights were over, I found a member of staff who was able to open a gate and help me down in the stair lift so I could head home. 

Stay Invincible! 

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels) 

Cage Warriors Manchester (135, 136, 146) Accessibility Review: Cross Country Trains, Premier Inn Trafford Centre West & Bowlers Exhibition Centre 

3 images of Emma's view at Bowlers Exhibition Centre for 3 different events. The images show the view from (from left to right): Section E1, Section E2 and Section B4. In the left and centre images the view is an empty Cage Warriors cage, and in the right hand side image Paddy Pimblett carries Liam Gittins on his shoulders in the cage.
Photo Credit Gurder (for right hand side image). Image Description: 3 images of Emma's view at Bowlers Exhibition Centre for 3 different events. The images show the view from (from left to right): Section E1, Section E2 and Section B4. In the left and centre images the view is an empty Cage Warriors cage, and in the right hand side image Paddy Pimblett carries Liam Gittins on his shoulders in the cage.

Back with another accessibility review! Technically a 3 in 1 type review as we have trains, hotel and venue all in the same review. As you can see from the title, I’ll be discussing 3 Cage Warriors events from last year, but I used the same train operators and hotel each time, and all three events were held at the same venue. Right, there’s the background, now on with the review! 

(Disclaimer: I’m aware “accessibility” means different things to different people, as I said before, these are MY views on my experience of accessibility at this venue as an electric wheelchair user, I obviously can’t speak for other experiences but feel free to add your experiences in the comments!) 

Cross Country Trains (Birmingham New Street to Manchester Piccadilly) 

Ticket Buying & Getting On at Birmingham New Street 

As usual. I booked the tickets on Trainline and the assistance via the Passenger Assistance app. On the day of travel, I arrived at the assistance lounge in New Street station around 20 minutes before my train as instructed and staff took me to my train from there and helped me to board with the ramp. 

On Train 

Onboard the Cross Country trains, I’ve always found that the wheelchair spaces are difficult to navigate into because the spaces themselves only just about fit my wheelchair and the table in the space cannot be moved so it’s not like you can lift it up and move it out of the way whilst you park up and then fold it back out again. The corridor is also quite tight so trying to get into and out of the carriage whilst other passengers are boarding, or disembarking is tricky. I have, however, found it reassuring that guards on Cross Country always make sure to check where I am disembarking the train. It’s comforting as a disabled person to know that a staff member is aware you are onboard, as I often have anxiety about getting left on the train. 

Disembarking & Leaving at Manchester Piccadilly 

Thankfully, staff at Manchester Picadilly were ready with the ramp as soon as my train pulled in. They were then able to assist me down the (very steep ramp and staff advised me which bus I needed to take to my destination. 

Premier Inn Trafford Centre West 


This was quite a simple process thankfully as I just booked an accessible room directly via the Premier Inn website. I could also choose between a room with a lowered bath or a wet room on the site when booking a room. I chose the wet room as that’s the most accessible option for me. 


I took the bus from Manchester city centre to the Trafford Centre bus station. I will admit that the first time I visited I found this particular Premier Inn (There are 3 with the ‘Trafford Centre’ name) difficult to locate. Partly because it was late and partly because you have to cross a road or two to get there from the bus station, so it wasn’t immediately visible from the bus station. Once I found the hotel, I had to roll through the car park to get in as the other path didn’t have a drop kerb. 


The hotel itself was actually quite accessible. I was given a ground floor room which is what I prefer as that means I don’t have to battle with evacuation chairs and evacuation protocols in case of a fire. The room itself was very spacious and easy enough to manoeuvre around. I must also add that staff were very helpful in assisting me at the buffet breakfast. Hotel buffet breakfasts are something I struggle at when I travel solo as they’re often quite difficult to reach from a wheelchair. 

Bowlers Exhibition Centre (BEC Arena) 

Ticket Buying 

As usual with Cage Warriors events in these kinds of venues, I booked the accessible seats for all 3 events over the phone with Eventim. 


Even though I picked one of the closest hotels to the venue, travel was still a little complicated. I managed to get a bus part of the way there and then the rest of it was a 30-minute walk through what I believe was an industrial estate. Check out the ‘Experience’ section for what the post event travel was like because it was…interesting. 

Experience & Seating 

Once I got to the venue, there was a ramp up to the entry door where our tickets were checked. From there it was through a corridor (including past the accessible toilet, more on that later) before entering the area where there was a food counter, merch and some benches/seating. From there I was led down a ramp into the arena and to my seat. The accessible seating was another case of simply removing a plastic seat so I could park my wheelchair. I had pretty good seats for all 3 events. The 135 and 136 events in April were on consecutive days, and my seats for those were essentially one seat apart from each other across the aisle in section E1 and E2. My seats for the November event (146) were in section B4 (again, good seats). I would say the main difference between seating in E section and B section is that B is the opposite side of the arena to the bar and accessible toilet. They do close off part of the arena (so you can’t cross from B section to the bar/toilets) when walkouts for each fight happen. So, I would factor that in if you want to make a bar or bathroom run between fights (or use the information to your advantage so you can end up right on barrier for a particular walkout, you choose). I had some issues with my view of the cage being blocked when people stood up or stood in front of me if they got particularly invested in a fight. Thankfully, in the April events I was on the back row of the section and there was plenty of room behind the seats, so I just backed up and used my chair riser to see over everyone. Staff and fellow fans were also very good at spotting when my view was blocked and offering me empty seats where I would have a better view. 

Now for more on that accessible toilet in the entrance corridor. I believe it’s on the radar key system. But the radar key door doesn’t open straight into the actual bathroom as there’s an entry way and then an open doorway (without a door) into the actual bathroom. So, REMEMBER to lock that first door. The other problem with locating the accessible bathroom in that entrance corridor is that it was sometimes difficult to get to the bathroom through the flow of traffic entering and leaving the show. 

As I mentioned earlier in the ‘Travel’ section, leaving the event is where things got interesting. For the April events, the buses back to the Trafford Centre had stopped running and I didn’t know where the nearest tram stop was (and frankly didn’t fancy figuring that out at gone 11pm at night, alone in a strange city). However, having seen a few taxis parked up, I thought I’d try my luck. Any wheelchair users reading this probably already know that was a false hope. I had one driver tell me that the ramp was broken (AFTER having a full 5-minute conversation with me about where I wanted to go whilst they could see I was sat in my wheelchair. The second taxi then IMMEDIATLEY said they didn’t have a ramp and frankly the immediacy of the response (before I’d even finished my sentence) made me sceptical about whether that was true. With two refusals behind me, I called it quits and decided to make the 45-minute walk back to the hotel. Alone, in the dark, through an industrial estate. Not the safest idea but frankly it was the only option I had. 

With that experience in mind, for the November event I didn’t even try using the taxis that parked outside and skipped straight to the 45-minute walk. Thankfully, I had a friend with me this time but it’s still a sketchy walk and generally not fun to walk 45 minutes in November weather in the UK. 

Overall whilst the trains and hotel were great with no complaints and the venue seemed quite accessible. The lack of late night, accessible post event travel options make the situation a little difficult and sketchy, particularly if you’re disabled and travel solo as I often do (and did for the first two events here). 

I hope this review was insightful and helps if you’re planning to visit Bowlers Exhibition Centre. 

Stay Invincible! 

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels 

Cage Warriors 138 Colchester Charter Hall Accessibility Review 

A selfie of Alex and I before the start of the show! With a crowd of seats behind us!
Image Description: A selfie of Alex and I before the start of the show! With a crowd of seats behind us!

After a quiet 2022, I am back. Warning: These first few posts of the year will likely be out of order and just clearing the backlog of 2022 reviews, because ya gal saw A LOT of venues and shows across this fine country in 2022. This post is also a collaboration with my friend Alex at The VI Critic. Be sure to click the link to check out his content including HIS side of this access review from the viewpoint of someone with a visual impairment. So, here’s my take on the accessibility of Colchester Charter Hall from Cage Warriors 138 back in May 2022. 

(Disclaimer: I’m aware “accessibility” means different things to different people, as I said before, these are MY views on my experience of accessibility at this venue as an electric wheelchair user, I obviously can’t speak for other experiences but feel free to add your experiences in the comments!) 

Ticket Buying 

The ticket buying experience for this one was a bit of a mission. I initially went straight to Eventim as I know they usually handle Cage Warriors access seating. They advised me to speak to the venue. Having spoken to the venue, they said tickets were nothing to do with them. I was then able to speak with the events manager who was able to open up access seating after some kind of site/team meeting (this was AFTER tickets originally went on sale as far as I remember). THEN it was back to Eventim to book the newly available access seating, and only then were Alex and I able to get the tickets we needed. 


The journey to Colchester was a 2 parter (or 3 if you include the tube). First was a trip from Birmingham New Street to London Euston with Avanti. Once I’d made it TO London it was time to make it ACROSS London to Liverpool Street for the train out to Colchester. This is where things got a little tricky. I headed to Euston Square to catch what I thought would be a simple single train to Liverpool Street, however, it transpired that Euston Square was only accessible from one direction (westbound I believe). Which meant I had to make a more convoluted trip to actually make it to Liverpool Street. This also had the knock-on effect of meaning I missed the initial train to Colchester that I was meant to catch. Luckily, I was just able to catch the next Greater Anglia train. These Greater Anglia trains on the Colchester route are actually one of the first that I’ve seen in the UK with full step free access to the train via a ramp IN the train which extends out. However, I found that at Colchester, even with the ramp extension, there was still a slight gap and drop when I disembarked the train which still made me somewhat nervous to disembark alone. 


For this particular trip I stayed at the Premier Inn Cowdray Avenue in Colchester. I found this to be a bit of an odd one as it’s one of the few hotels I’ve stayed in which didn’t have a lift to the upper floor at all. But I was able to secure a room on the ground floor. The other odd point here was that I was given an actual physical key to open the door rather than a key card. Whilst I find this more difficult as someone with fine motor control issues, Alex mentioned that a physical key might have plus points over a key card for those with a visual impairment, which is one way I myself didn’t think of in which our access needs could differ. One plus point for this hotel compared to others was the plethora of plug points. This is something I often have an issue with as someone who travels with a lot of tech AND a wheelchair that needs charging. There are rarely enough plugs in the right places to charge everything I need, but that wasn’t a problem at this hotel. I would also like to point out that the staff were very helpful in making sure I had everything I need to be comfortable during my stay. The only issue I had here was the bathroom as this had a sliding door which was very heavy and got stuck on the carpet. 

Experience & Seating 

The first thing I noticed en route to the venue was the poor-quality pavement between my hotel and said venue. Obviously not the venue’s fault but something to bear in mind, I guess. Once we got to the venue there was somewhat of a queue to get in and a full security check. Then we had our tickets checked and headed into our seats. We were in Row C of Block 2. Whilst this was technically at the back of floor seating, it was a pretty fantastic view for Alex’s first CW event. We were right next to walkout (which means you can spot us on broadcast if you watch back) and Alex even had a gumshield land in his lap! The only issue was it being a little bit of an awkward angle to look at the big screens (something I like to do to see the intricacies of submission attempts that I can’t quite see properly looking at the cage). It was a brilliant event and Alex even asked if he could come to the London event in July (held at Indigo at the O2 which I have already previously reviewed) as soon as we left the event! Being in the back row of the floor also meant leaving the event was quite easy and there wasn’t too much of a crowd to work through. 

Travel Home 

When it came time to travel home, the travel back into London was a little different than the journey OUT of London. I followed the signs from my hotel to the train station to find that the signs had sent me to the wrong side of the station for wheelchair access to the platform. Thankfully, the staff walked me back out and around the station in the rain so I could access the correct platform. I then hopped on the train to Liverpool Street. From there I had to take the Metropolitan line all the way to Aldgate, stay on that train and wait for it to reverse back so I could get off at Euston Square (see my earlier note about Euston Square only being accessible in one direction). From there it was a quick walk to Euston where I caught the train back to Birmingham. 

I hope this accessibility review of trains, a Premier Inn and Colchester Charter Hall was informative. Be sure to check out Alex’s side of the collaboration and keep an eye on my Cage Warriors blog posts for more of my reviews having spent 2022 following the promotion all over the place.  

Stay Invincible! 

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels) 

How NOT to Travel From Euston to Uxbridge as a Wheelchair User

Those of you who’ve been with me for a while will remember my post about my first train trip up to Birmingham for Cage Warriors 98. Now what I didn’t tell you is what happened AFTER we got off the train, between Euston and Uxbridge. Well here’s that story, strap in and prepare because it’s a whole roller coaster ride!

On Train

It all started while we were still on the train back to Euston. I saw on the Metropolitan line twitter that the Euston Square tube station (the station I intended to use to get home) lift was broken. That was fine, as I’d just roll on to Kings Cross, which wasn’t that much further. I then saw on a different twitter account that the Euston Square lift was fixed so I reverted back to the Euston Square plan as I originally wanted to. On arrival at Euston, after my incredibly sarcastic answer to “do you need a ramp?” (I mentioned that in the other post but it’s the sassiest I’ve ever been so I shall forever mention it), we made our way out of Euston. In hindsight, we should have probably waited for clear concrete confirmation that the Euston Square lift was working before heading off, but they say hindsight’s 20/20.

At Euston Square

On arrival at Euston Square, we found out that the lift was actually still broken. So, with that knowledge, I told the staff I needed a taxi to the next accessible station as is the rule in these situations. I was then told this was not protocol, something that I continued to be told even after I’d shown the staff member a screenshot from the TFL website, and so that staff member disappeared to locate their manager, convinced I still wasn’t telling the truth. Granted, at this point, I probably should have just walked on to Kings Cross about 10 minutes away but I was quite annoyed about being told I was incorrect and essentially lying about being entitled to a taxi to the next accessible station, so I decided to stand my ground. Eventually, the manager returned and said yes I was entitled to a taxi (I knew THAT) and we waited like an hour for said taxi.

In taxi and at Kings Cross

Before I hopped in the taxi, I confirmed that TFL were paying for it, and this was confirmed for me, because the taxi company had a contract with TFL for these kind of trips from an inaccessible station to an accessible one. However, when we got to Kings Cross, the driver requested payment from us, despite already being paid by TFL as far as we knew, and wouldn’t let us move away until we gave him money. So I had to pay £10 I knew I didn’t owe him personally, to be able to go get the train.

At Kings Cross – Metropolitan and Piccadilly line

Once we were actually inside Kings Cross, we first tried to use the Metropolitan line, but that was out of service between Kings Cross and Uxbridge, so we had to use the Piccadilly line for the same route. This meant my friends phone died and she wouldn’t be able to tap out on exit despite having tapped in on her phone.

On Piccadilly line

When we finally get on the Piccadilly line, I was aware my friend and I were exiting at 2 different destinations, However, that was fine, even though I was in my manual wheelchair, because I knew I was going straight to my destination on a single train and had someone to meet me there. EXCEPT, it didn’t happen like that, the train terminated early at an inaccessible station, even though TFL are not supposed to terminate trains early at inaccessible stations when they KNOW they have a wheelchair user onboard! Luckily, I was able to contact my friend Nikki who was waiting for me at Uxbridge so she could let them know and have them coordinate the situation with the station I was at on my behalf (shout out Uxbridge station for always being super helpful with access in my 4 years living there, and particularly in this situation). I was then then taken off the terminated train and put back on a different train going all the way to Uxbridge, and EVENTUALLY made it back to Uxbridge about 4 HOURS after I left Euston

Hopefully, this gives some insight into what is probably the worst inaccessibility debacle of my time in London

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Cage Warriors 111 (Train Travel from Birmingham New Street to London Euston as a Wheelchair User, and Indigo At The O2 Wheelchair Accessibility Review)

An absolutely mammoth train travel/access review post for you today. Birmingham New Street to London Euston and back with West Midlands Trains and Virgin Trains (which now no longer exists) and an access review of Indigo At The O2 for Cage Warriors 111.

(Disclaimer: I’m aware “accessibility” means different things to different people, as I said before, these are MY views on my experience of accessibility at this venue as an electric wheelchair user, I obviously can’t speak for others experiences but feel free to add your experiences in the comments!)

Train & Tube Outbound


Tickets were booked through Trainline as usual and I booked the train assistance through Cross Country Trains. I did it this way, despite Cross Country not being one of the companies I travelled with, because both West Midlands Trains and Virgin trains insisted on having my wheelchair dimensions before booking the ramp and this was not something I’d ever previously been asked for before on any journey with any train company so it wasn’t information I was willing to suddenly have to give.

Birmingham New Street to Euston to Uxbridge

I arrived at the New Street assistance reception 20 minutes before the train and was taken to the platform and put on the train with a ramp by assistance. There are no wheelchair space reservations allowed on West Midlands Trains (operator for this leg of the journey) but luckily there was a free wheelchair space for me to occupy. The catch was that it was next to the toilet, which is interesting when the toilet door slams every 10 minutes and you have a ridiculous startle reflex like mine. When it came time to get off the train, I had a short wait for assistance before the ramp turned up, then it was time to head for the Tube. Specifically, I headed for Euston Square. I made my way through a gate line and to the platform to find there were no staff anywhere to call ahead to Uxbridge and confirm I could disembark. The only staff member I could see was stood at a gate line which was up some stairs, which meant I had to sit at the bottom of said stairs and shout for assistance (it’s a good job I’ve learned to yell loudly over the years). However, the staff member did inform that the wheelchair access at Euston Square was only in one direction so in order to make the return journey for my train home I’d have to go on to Kings Cross on the Metropolitan line and then come back on myself, oh if only the return journey was that simple!

Indigo At The O2 Access Review


Initially, I phoned Indigo At The O2 for a wheelchair space ticket and carer ticket for Cage Warriors 111 and was told there were none left, with no mention of possible single wheelchair space tickets being available. Of course, as is standard in 2020, I headed to Twitter to express my disappointment at not being able to secure a ticket. I was particularly disappointed as there was a specific fighter (shout out Paddy Pimblett) who I was desperate to see fight live (and still am). That tweet kind of exploded and gained reaction in a way I never expected with many people trying to help me out (shout out, Paddy, Molly McCann and MMA Twitter for helping me secure an answer and a ticket from the venue). Through this reaction, I was put in touch with the venue who were able to tell me there was a single wheelchair space (no carer) ticket left for what I believe was the venue’s only access platform. Forget Cinderella shall go to the ball, Em shall go to the fights!


Travel was pretty similar to all my other trips to the O2 complex. I took the Metropolitan line from Uxbridge to Wembley Park with no ramp used, although they do have ramps. I could have used Finchley Road but they refused as it would be “easier” to use Wembley Park (easier on them I assume). I then went from Wembley Park to North Greenwich on the Jubilee line and was met off the tube and guided out of North Greenwich station. On the way back into the station post event, I was bumped and barged repeatedly whilst queuing to enter the station and on my way through the station. I then HAD to get on the busiest tube out of North Greenwich to make sure I didn’t miss the last Metropolitan line train out of Wembley Park towards Uxbridge. This meant I had to sit in the middle of the train not in the designated wheelchair space (because people were stood there). THAT meant I had to just lock my arm straight to hold onto the central pole and steady my chair in case it slid around. My arm was also repeatedly leant on to the point I thought my joints might dislocate. Thankfully I made the last Metropolitan line from Wembley to Uxbridge and then had a short wait for the ramp at Uxbridge.

Experience & Seating

On arrival at the venue, I went through a ticket check and was then led to my seat on the platform. In terms of view, I had probably one of the best views of fighter walkout that I’ve ever had, with fighter walkout being immediately to my left, I was, however, a little further back than I have been for other shows in terms of view into the cage. There was also only the one small platform which meant it was quite packed and full. I did hear an assistance staff member say the platform was “not meant for so many big wheelchairs” which baffled me completely because wheelchair dimensions had never been mentioned when I bought my ticket an, let’s face it, if access is only accessible for those with certain sizes or types of mobility aids, it’s not REALLY access. The good thing about this platform was it was right next to an accessible toilet which meant toilet trips didn’t involve trekking across the venue.

*July 2022 Update: This recent visit in July 2022 was a significantly less accessible experience in terms of the view. This was because the big screen next to the accessible platform was COVERED BY A CURTAIN (screen still actually showing the fights, we just couldn’t see because curtain). See below for what I mean. This meant that I had no view of a portion of the fights as the platform wasn’t positioned for a clear view of the whole cage and the big screen (which I would have used when I couldn’t see a section of the cage) was covered by this curtain. Whilst this was an annoyance for me, I was particularly thinking of those attendees who might be low vision (like my friend Alex) or short sighted and so have trouble seeing the cage from this distance. Having the screen NOT covered by this curtain would have meant they could use the view from the screen to better understand what was going on in the cage, leading to a more accessible and more overly enjoyable experience.

View from the accessibility platform. A curtain covering a large portion of the big screen which is to the left of the access platform.

Photo Credit: Alex Ramzan. Image Description: View from the accessibility platform. A curtain covering a large portion of the big screen which is to the left of the access platform.

Tube, Bus & Train Return

For the beginning of my return journey back to Birmingham, there were maintenance works on Metropolitan line between Wembley Park and Aldgate. That meant that my journey back to Euston was as follows: Metropolitan line from Uxbridge to Wembley Park, then the Jubilee line from there to Bond Street, THEN the Central from there to Tottenham Court Road and finally a bus to Euston station. I made myself known at the Euston assistance desk and was then told to make my own way to the platform. I waited there and was then met by assistance staff who used a ramp to put me on the train. As per my usual gripes with Virgin Trains, there was a tight corridor and door to navigate to make it to my seat, but there was more space in the wheelchair space than I expected given how insistent they were about knowing my wheelchair dimensions prior to my attempted assistance booking. Once I arrived back at New Street, I was taken off the train pretty immediately and was able to wheel away out of the station and back to university accommodation.

I hope this shows my adventures as a wheelchair user for a weekend in the capital for the fights. Thanks as always to Cage Warriors for putting on a brilliant show and I can’t wait to be back in March for CW113

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Birmingham Resorts World Arena SOLO Wheelchair Accessibility Review

Mooooore access reviews. This time Resorts World Arena in Birmingham for Cage Warriors 109. I know I’ve reviewed this venue before when it was Genting Arena, but this time I was SOLO. So, what’s the difference attending an event solo at this venue vs accompanied? Read on to find out.

(Disclaimer: I’m aware “accessibility” means different things to different people, as I said before, these are MY views on my experience of accessibility at this venue as an electric wheelchair user, I obviously can’t speak for others experiences but feel free to add your experiences in the comments!)

Ticket Buying

This time around, the first part of the process was to apply for the Access Card specifically for Birmingham venues from the Resorts World Arena website. While I was waiting for that to be confirmed I was able to ring the venue and have tickets held for a specific number of days while waiting for the Access Card confirmation. So, in all honesty, once the Access Card was sorted it was basically the usual process of buying tickets through a phone line.


Travel wise, I took a train from Birmingham New Street to Birmingham International with Virgin Trains which let me tell you was a MISSION. There was an issue with booking assistance in that they wanted my wheelchair dimensions before agreeing to book the ramp for my assistance. This is not something I have been asked for before and annoyed me. I found, however that if you book via another company’s assistance line (Cross Country in my case), they’ll sort your assistance with no issue, gotta love a loophole! I arrived at Birmingham New Street 20 minutes before departure and was put straight on the train. I was then taken straight off at Birmingham International and followed the sign posts through the station to the arena. On the way back, it was my first time taking a train there and back from a Cage Warriors venue so I didn’t know if I’d make the last train. With that in mind, I decided to leave straight after the main event KO, regardless of how much I wanted to stay for celebrations. I made it back in the station 15 minutes before my train and managed to get on an earlier train than I’d booked even with issues on the line, there was then a minor wait at Birmingham New Street before I was able to disembark the train.

Experience & Seating

Firstly, what an absolutely class show by Cage Warriors as per usual, it honestly felt like going home after 6 months not being at a CW live show, I know that sounds a bit dramatic but if you read this thankyou note I’ve written to Cage Warriors you’ll understand why I say it. As for the venue, there are accessible toilets which can be accessed by radar key which was a welcome sight as someone who likes not having to ask for access. I was basically cage side, or as close as fan can get, same as the previous visit. The only way that going solo is different to going with someone is that there’s no one to bounce that fight night energy off of (aka no one to contain me while I lose myself in fight night) or to discuss fights with.

Cage Warriors, all the love as always, see you in London! I hope this is an insight into my solo fight night adventures!

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Clayton Hotel Cardiff Wheelchair Accessibility Review

A hotel accessibility review of my stay in Clayton Hotel Cardiff for Cage Warriors 104 back in April!

(Disclaimer: I’m aware “accessibility” means different things to different people, as I said before, these are MY views on my experience of accessibility at this hotel as a manual wheelchair user, I obviously can’t speak for others experiences but feel free to add your experiences in the comments!)


This booking process began with me ringing the hotel as I couldn’t find how to book an accessible room online and wondered if I was missing something. I was then told that all the accessible rooms were booked for the period of my stay, so I booked a standard room, knowing that was feasible with my manual wheelchair, and was told my booking would be moved to an accessible room if one became available.


The travel part was relatively simple as the hotel was a 15 minute or so walk from Cardiff Kingsway coach drop-off point once we’d arrived in Cardiff on Megabus from London.


The experience started before we’d even arrived at the hotel as they (the hotel) rang while I was on the coach to Cardiff to say that there was an accessible room available and that my booking had been moved to that room. When we checked in, the hotel completed a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) which, as the name suggests, is a document detailing how I’ll be evacuated in case of an emergency such as a fire. This was the first time I’d had a PEEP done whilst staying at hotel that I know of and it was certainly reassuring to know it had been done. The room itself was on the 3rd floor which, as far as I remember was the first floor which actually had guest rooms. There was large wet room bathroom which was a welcome change as not many accessible hotel rooms, from my experience, actually have wet room bathrooms, There was also an automatic door button to get into and out of the room which, unfortunately, didn’t work. That was disappointing but not a major problem for me as I had someone with me to help me in and out of the room, but I’m aware it could be a problem for someone else.

Overall, this is one of the most accessible hotels I’ve stayed in and I would definitely stay here again if I visited Cardiff again.

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Thankyou Cage Warriors

Those of you who’ve read the title will know what I’m doing here. Of course, Cage Warriors (CW) aren’t the only people I need to thank, but it felt right to thank them here considering that a good chunk of my posts are about Cage Warriors trips. Just a warning that this post is a little more emotional and a lot more personal than my usual posts. So, what exactly am I thanking Cage Warriors for?

Well, let’s start from the beginning of this rollercoaster ride. Since June 2018, I have had 3 family bereavements, including losing my dad suddenly in that June, add to that trying to do a dissertation and everything else completing the final year of a degree involves and it sort of felt like the universe had thrown everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink at me and gone “DEAL WITH IT!”.

It was during those early months after losing my dad that I found Cage Warriors while searching for something to buy tickets for (to give me something to look forward to). I saw the CW98 Birmingham date was the weekend before my birthday and decided it would be the perfect present to myself.

We then ended up adding CW97 in Cardiff to the list of events to attend as part of my friend’s birthday present because well, why not?

Nothing was an issue at CW97, those of you who’ve read my blog of that trip will know they brought the meet and greet to me when I couldn’t find an accessible route. I immediately felt comfortable and, as silly as it seems, like I’d joined a family. And that’s the first thing I have to say thank you for, for making mew feel comfortable while I was still trying to deal with my world being turned upside down. Even though you had no idea what I’d gone through with losing my dad, that experience at CW97 will always be important to me.

Thank you for giving me something to focus on when things sucked, and I was struggling with grief. Planning trips to CW shows, whether that was figuring out which shows we could go to or booking coaches and hotels, pulled me out of a grief spiral more times than I care to count. The amount of times “it’s ok because I get to go to CW in X days” or “CW is on in x days” became my mantra is slightly ridiculous, but everyone needs their light at the end of the tunnel in dark times and CW was mine.

Thank you for providing an escape from the madness of the final year of my degree AND providing mini deadlines for coursework. The motivation “this essay needs doing because I have to go to CW this weekend” was used a few times and I’m not joking when I tell you that my CW104 tickets were stored in an envelope marked “FINISH DISSERTATION!”

Thank you for providing a sense of normality when sometimes nothing else made sense. Even if normality means: get on the coach, get to the hotel, have a beverage or two, see some brilliant fights, sleep and get on the coach to go home, that sense of normality was still appreciated.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity and excuse to travel like I’d always been saying I would, and like I promised myself I would after I lost my dad. It may have only been UK travel, but it’s started me on the travelling that I’ve forever been talking about.

Thank you for the best “do you remember when…” memories, memories I’m still talking about months later.

Thank you for putting a smile on my face in the worst times.

Thankyou for helping me maintain my sanity and stay invincible, I can never put into words what means (even if I have tried here).

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Travelling from London Euston to Birmingham University as a Wheelchair User? Here’s How I Did It

Photo Credit: Keshia Asare

This is a blog I should have gotten around to writing months ago, but anyway, here it is! My experience of travelling from London Euston to Birmingham University via Birmingham New Street with London North Western Railway and West Midlands Railways for Cage Warriors 98 in October.


Ticket Buying & Getting On at London Euston

The tickets for this section from Euston to New Street was booked through the Virgin site on a weekend event deal of theirs and then collected from a station ticket machine. It was a fairly simple process in which I just selected the stations were travelling to/from, selected a specific train and paid and then collected the tickets at Euston station. While that was all done on one site, there was no option to reserve a wheelchair space on the site. Assistance was booked separately over the phone and I booked assistance, a ramp onto the train, for all 4 trains (Euston – New Street, then New Street to University, then the same in reverse for the return) in one call, and that was quite the task let me tell you! Getting to Euston itself was pretty simple, we just took the Metropolitan line from Uxbridge to Euston Square and walked to Euston.

When it came to boarding the train at Euston, I must admit I felt kind of ignored when trying to make myself known at the assistance desk. I understand that it’s a busy station but it’s always a little odd to have staff look at you and then not acknowledge that you’re waiting.

On Train

On the train, the wheelchair space was next to the toilet, which was an issue for a couple of reasons. 1. The door slammed every time it closed which set off my startle reflex (which I’ve discussed more here if anyone wants to understand more about that) 2. Sitting next to a toilet is just kind of gross and not something I wanted to do for over an hour. Luckily I’m able to transfer out of my wheelchair into a seat so that’s what I did on this occasion. The stop before New Street, I transferred back into my wheelchair to prepare to disembark. Not long after this, I felt someone grab the handle of my wheelchair and, being a big advocate of #JustAskDontGrab I was about to politely ask this person to let go when they collapsed onto me. At this point I realised the person had used my chair to prevent themselves from collapsing so I was less annoyed about the grab because frankly I’d do the same thing if I was in that position. However, it was still scary, as you can imagine, having someone collapsed on top of me and being unable to move or leave the train until he had been moved to a seat. Thankfully it was the train’s final stop, so staff were able to help the person and get me off the train without too much issue.

Ticket Buying & Changing Trains at Birmingham New Street

The tickets for the New Street to University train were booked via Trainline but the assistance was still booked separately over the phone. In terms of getting between trains, we were simply walked through the station by the staff member who’d assisted us off the train from London.

On Train, Disembarking & Leaving at University

The journey itself was only short, so I simply parked in an unoccupied wheelchair space. When it came time to disembark, we were instantly met off the train with a ramp, so disembarking was completely uncomplicated which is just the way I like it, but it’s surprising how rarely that actually happens.

Just to explain the jump here, we were supposed to get the train back from University to New Street but ended up skipping that section of the journey as a friend dropped us directly at New Street. Pro Tip: inform the assistance staff if you’re not going to be taking a certain journey! We arrived at New Street to mildly frantic assistance staff wondering what had happened and why we weren’t on the train from University. I can admit that it’d completely slipped my mind to inform them because, frankly I didn’t expect them to be there to assist anyway! Which was obviously an error on my part but pretty neatly sums up how assistance usually works (or more often doesn’t) as a wheelchair user on the railways.


Getting On at Birmingham New Street

In terms of getting to the station, we were dropped in one of the station carparks. We then got to the station level using the oldest, smallest, most rickety lift I’d ever seen in my entire life. I honestly thought we’d end up stuck. From there we made our way to the assistance desks to request the assistance I’d prebooked to get onto the train.

On Train

On the train, I was again seated next to the toilet so, again, I transferred out onto a standard seat to avoid the constantly slamming door.  Later in the trip, we were found by the train staff and informed that my chair would need to be folded and removed from the wheelchair space if someone who was staying in their wheelchair required it. Of course, that was completely fine and what I’d have done even if the staff had not mentioned it, it’s just common courtesy as far as I see. As it happened my chair did not end up having to be folded.

Disembarking & Leaving at London Euston

When it came time to leave the train at Euston, we ended up waiting around 10 minutes for assistance, which is around the standard waiting time for assistance by my experience (it shouldn’t be, but it is). When assistance did turn up I was greeted with “do you need a ramp?!” (bearing in mind I’d already prebooked assistance WITH A RAMP). I must admit it took all of my self-control not to sarcastically reply “nah mate I’ll just levitate off the train”. Silly questions lead to sarcastic answers. We were eventually let off the train and allowed to go on our way.

I hope you enjoyed this long overdue tale of my adventures to Birmingham on the train!

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Viola Arena Cardiff Wheelchair Accessibility Seating Review

CW104 view, photo credit: Keshia Asare

Since I attended Cage Warriors 104 in April, I realised I’d attended 3 different Cage Warriors shows at what is now the Viola Arena (CW97, CW100 and CW104) and sat in 3 different disabled seating sections (Cageside, Block 15 and Block 17). With that in mind, I thought I’d expand on my earlier CW97 post  and compare the 3 sections and the pros and cons of each. Disclaimer, this only relates to the seating for Cage Warriors events as I haven’t attended the arena for anything else.

Cageside: We were cageside for CW97 in September, my first experience of a live Cage Warriors show.  This was definitely the closest seat to the action of the three (see the picture below for our view), it was also the best view for submission attempts and ground and pound work, which is particularly great if you’re a big fan of that side of MMA like I am. These seats were on the ground floor, almost in the traditional wheelchair accessible platform set up that I’ve seen at most gig venues, but I didn’t realise how ow close we were seated until we arrived, so these cageside seats were a great surprise and certainly a welcome perk of this whole wheelchair user situation that is my life! I do wonder whether this seating option still exists for disabled patrons though as it seemed like the arena layout had been changed when I tried to book for CW100 and disabled seating wasn’t available in that area anymore, but it may still be worth checking when you book. The one issue with this specific disabled seating area is that it is sort of felt detached from the crowd and the atmosphere which alters the experience a bit as the party atmosphere at a Cage Warriors show is half the fun. Having said that, I would recommend booking this disabled seating area if it’s the type you need and is available.


CW97 view, photo credit: Keshia Asare

Block 15: We were in Block 15 for CW100 in December. The main change here is that we were up with the crowd (being at the top of the arena with the crowd in the seats below or in seats next to us, which made it feel as though there was more of an atmosphere which improved on the one issue I had with cageside seats. However, the downside of being  up a level (having taken the lift up) is that it was more difficult to see the intricacies of what was going on in the fights. Having said that, there was a screen in front of us which meant were still able to see the submission attempts and such which, as I’ve said before, was good for me with being a particular fan of that side of the sport. All in all, this is probably the seating section I’d most consistently choose (if it was available) given that cageside disabled seating does not seem to be an option anymore.

Block 17: We were in Block 17 for CW104 in April (see the picture at the top of this post for our view). My main point about this seating area is that it’s next to one of the bars, which is cool if that’s your thing but, as someone who doesn’t drink at events, it’s not mine. It also meant there was lots of traffic going past where we were sitting, which meant a night of bumped, barged, accidentally tripping people up with anti-tip wheels on the chair, and at one point being yanked backwards as someone used my chair to stand up. I’m not mentioning all of this for a whinge, it ends up hurting and causing me physical pain after a while and can also be quite claustrophobic feeling like you’re constantly in the way and tripping people up. There was also no screen (unlike Block 15) which made it difficult to  see when submissions were happening (did I mention the submission side of things is my favourite part?) Overall, it was difficult to fully focus and  enjoy the night  when I  constantly had half a mind on being bumped into, and I would not choose this seat again if the choice was offered.

Stay Invincible!

Invincible Woman On Wheels