So, the first year of the brilliant Accessible Calderdale project is already over! Bring on the second!

It’s been consistently absorbing and incredibly varied. Massive plans, big ideas, selfless individuals – it’s all there.

I’ve met many, many interesting, committed, hard-working people – all determined to make their particular voluntary project work. Hopefully my advice, followed by money from Community Foundation for Calderdale will help them all to realise their dreams.

People always want to hear a summary at this time of the year – high spots, interesting people, fascinating twists, unexpected turns – so here goes!

After roughly forty audits I’ve accumulated plenty of stories……

Being rolled backwards, down a 45° slope in my wheelchair (well it felt like 45°)! to see progress at the Puzzle Hall Inn in Sowerby Bridge will linger long in my mind. This build looks like a great idea. I can’t wait to go to a concert there when it opens and what a great accessible venue it will be!

A little further down the road is one of the most ambitious projects – renovating Fire and Water . This is massive but doesn’t seem to faze anyone. I particularly liked the basement currently storing the Rush Cart and the Golden Goose plus eggs (further details on request!).

The Cornholme Community area  held the largest selection of teas and infusions I have ever seen in one spot.  Sowood preschool looked after some of the nicest kids I’ve met in a long while – so concerned I wouldn’t be able to get down the slope into their playground (but they found another way)! Luddenden Foot  provided the best tea and toast amidst their vibrant playgroup.

Outdoors in the wonderful Calderdale countryside

Outdoors in the wonderful Calderdale countryside I remember the canal walk at Cromwell Bottom and seeing the site of a proposed viewing platform (now under construction), kingfishers at Jerusalem Farm  after a glorious walk, planning a sensory garden at Beechwood Park  and petting the horses at the Riding School for the Disabled.

Other random finds which will not be forgotten include the unexpected curry at St Augustine’s Centre , the beautiful Baptist Chapels at Blackley  and Wainsgate  and the brilliant hydrotherapy pool amongst the fascinating outbuildings at the Skillshop.

Discussing ancestry at Halifax Minster , hippy reminiscences in the Hive  over a cup of tea, a period of rest and relaxation in the sophisticated Overgate Hospice Boutique with another cup of tea…. the list goes on!

So, what will 2020 bring? Whatever it is, it will be unexpected and it will be brilliant. It’ll showcase the best of human nature.

I’ll keep you informed!

What’s next? Oh, I’m going to Rokt in Brighouse  to advise on their rock-climbing facility. Rock climbing, wheelchair, really? Watch this space!


Chris Cammiss

Access Auditor