Fully Accessible, The Space @ Field Lane is a new community Space in Calderdale

Building Opportunity for All: Accessibility at the Heart of The Space @ Field Lane

The concept of a community space thrives on inclusivity. It’s a place where everyone feels welcome, valued, and empowered to participate. Accessibility, therefore, becomes an essential cornerstone in building a thriving community hub.

This is precisely the philosophy behind The Space @ Field Lane, a resident-owned and operated community centre in Calderdale. Their mission statement, “building opportunity in our community,” takes on a special meaning when considering their commitment to accessibility.

The Space @ Field Lane image of dining area

Prioritising Accessibility from the Start

The Space isn’t your average community building. Unlike many pre-existing structures, accessibility wasn’t an afterthought; it was woven into the very fabric of the project from the beginning. This commitment is evident in the inclusion of a dedicated Changing Places facility – a vital amenity often missing in public buildings, which can significantly limit accessibility for disabled people.

The Space @ Field Lane group understood this challenge. While incorporating the Changing Places facility added delays and funding hurdles, they persevered, recognising the significant impact it would have on inclusivity.

Accessibility in Action

Accessibility extends beyond designated facilities. The Space actively seeks to remove barriers and ensure a smooth experience for all. Their collaboration with accessibility auditors demonstrates their dedication to identifying and rectifying even minor obstacles, like the initial double door issue. These seemingly small details can make a big difference in ensuring a truly accessible environment.

The Space @ Field Lane image of toilet 1

Fostering a Welcoming Space

The Space isn’t just about physical accessibility; it fosters a welcoming atmosphere for all. Partnerships with organisations like the Wheelchair Enabling Society and the Disability Partnership create opportunities for social interaction and community engagement. This focus on inclusivity extends even to events – The Space aspires to become a go-to venue for celebrations, specifically catering to those who require Changing Places amenities.

The Space @ Field Lane image of toilet 2

During the Accessibility audit some other small points were highlighted – things which able-bodied people just don’t think about – like the position of soap dispensers over the sink.  All in all though the Accessibility Auditor commended The Space on its accessibility and forward thinking.

All that the Space group now needs is for the building to re-open and lots of people to use it.

The Wheelchair Enabling Society has run chair exercises at The Space and the Disability Partnership set up a series of lunches which are now run by The Space management committee.

The Space @ Field Lane image meeting space

The clean, modern and bright nature of the building make it very popular for children’s birthday parties. The trustees hope that it will not be long before those children and adults who need Changing Space facilities. For whom therefore the bulk of public buildings are not suitable for celebrations, will see The Space as their venue of choice.

The mission of The Space group is ‘building opportunity in our community’ and it seems that really does mean opportunity for all, and that includes those who need a Changing Space

Building a Stronger Community

The Space @ Field Lane serves as a shining example of how accessibility can be a driving force in building a stronger community. By prioritising accessibility from the outset, The Space ensures everyone has the opportunity to participate, connect, and contribute. This commitment to inclusivity paves the way for a more vibrant and equitable community for all.

For more information, telephone 01484 5560924, see the website: www.thespaceatfieldlane.org.uk or the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thespacefieldlane/