Find out why this teenager says Rushden Lakes is like a mini Disneyland

Bernadette Crisp with her award at this year's Pride in Northamptonshire Awards
Bernadette Crisp with her award at this year's Pride in Northamptonshire Awards

A wheelchair-bound teenager has praised a shopping centre for its accessibility and warm welcome from staff.

Bernadette Crisp won the Inspire A Generation category at this year’s Northants Telegraph’s Pride in Northamptonshire Awards.

The youngster has overcome tremendous problems, but is always trying to encourage and support others, especially those who are disabled.

And she has given a glowing review for Rushden Lakes, a place she loves to visit.

Giving her views on the scheme, she said: “Rushden Lakes means the world to me.

“Being a disabled person the world is very different but at Rushden Lakes I find it a magical place for me, the way the lake shimmers in the bright sunshine and whatever weather it is always beautiful.

“The nature I find it very peaceful and calming, I went around the lake with my carers and saw lovely wooden creatures around every bend.

“I find Rushden Lakes a very including place for everyone and if I need help someone always helps with a smile brightening my day.

“I see Rushden Lakes like a mini Disneyland.

“I do not mean the characters, I mean the way the community comes together and is very understanding and kind.

“I feel very loved and cared for at Rushden Lakes, the staff always greet me with respect and treat every customer like royalty.

“My food has to be specially done but Rushden Lakes always serve with a smile and a kind heart.

“I am very close with the manager of Rushden Lakes, he makes me feel special and is very kind with a loving heart, very full of joy and understanding.

“Every time I go to Rushden Lakes I will always have a smile and try to brighten others’ day with the joy I have inside of me.”

Bernadette’s progressive condition has stopped her playing wheelchair basketball, which she loved.

And in the past year she has deteriorated so is now unable even to hold a pencil.

But despite not being able to continue her favourite pastime of drawing, she now draws pictures on her touchscreen computer using only one finger.

Bernadette’s nomination for the Pride in Northamptonshire award said: “Although in constant pain, if people meet her, she is cheerful and has a beautiful smile.

“Sadly she now has also lost all speech, but is able to communicate through her computer and Makaton sign language.

“Anyone who meets her, including those in the medical profession, are astonished by her positive attitude.”

The Inspire A Generation award is for people who inspire others through their achievements and have made a significant impact to those around them.

This person is a positive role model for generations to follow and their generosity of spirit leads others to achieve greatness in their own right.