Chris has been busy working with the team developing plans for the projected Station to be built at Elland

As you know, I’ve been trying to get involved with the “powers that be” in planning decisions for some time. Improving the roads, opening a new building, changing use – I’ll always have an opinion, I’m a Yorkshireman after all!

I’ve got a lot of knowledge and a lot of lived experience – worth listening to – right?

However, it’s all very well shouting from the sidelines, but does that really do any good?

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Extreme Auditing (working through the Pandemic)

Well, I certainly can’t remember a year anything like this one – it seemed to come to a grinding halt in March, and it’s certainly not back on the rails yet.

For the team at Visits Unlimited you might think that would be the end of things for the foreseeable future, no one going anywhere, no one meeting up with anyone, not a bit of it.

We’re far more resourceful and resilient to accept that!

True – work did drop off a cliff for a few weeks, audit dates in the diary were cancelled, people didn’t know what could or should happen, but that didn’t last for long at our Accessible Calderdale Project.  After a few weeks of hiding away, people started peeping over the parapet and gingerly climbing over.

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

Opened in September, 2020 (but temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus lockdown), The Space @ Field Lane is a community building which had lain derelict and in very poor condition for nearly ten years.  This left the local community with nowhere to come together for socialising for group or activities or to access services and training without going into the centre of town.

The Space @ Field Lane image of dining area

In 2016 a group of local residents came together to rectify this situation and negotiated with Calderdale MBC to take over the building, to carry out a full refurbishment and then for it to be run by local residents.

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So near and yet so far……..again.

I love getting out and about. It’s good for fitness, and we also live in a very beautiful country containing lots of awe-inspiring buildings. A particularly keen interest of mine is in history, so what better way to combine both passions than exploring a magnificent ancient ruin?

Just prior to the lockdown, my partner and I felt the need to get out and about and had located a suitable hotel online and so we stayed in North Yorkshire for a long weekend and made sure we thoroughly explored our surroundings. We found we weren’t far from Rievaulx Abbey (Click Here To Visit Site) which I’d heard about but never seen. The weather was decent so off we went.

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What’s in a name?…….and the name is “accessible”……..

Well, we all know what that means now, don’t we? Read on…..

A few weeks ago my partner and I were feeling a little stir crazy and thought we deserved a weekend away, so that’s what we planned.
(Ironically this was the weekend just prior to hearing Government advice not to travel unless totally necessary. So, we had a lovely three days of gorgeous villages, artisan markets, great weather, excellent meals and too much to drink, to return to a different world. If we thought we were stir crazy then….?)

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Centre Vale Park Todmorden looks like a great place to visit after lockdown.

Recently I was made aware of Centre Vale Park in Todmorden . I’ve not had the pleasure of a visit yet but looking at the little I’ve seen online it looks very enticing &  seems very accessible .

There are 33 hectares so it covers a fairly large area & seems to have areas to suit everybody . I look forward to visiting when lockdown is behind us all to see what it has to offer . Situated on Burnley Road , half a mile from Todmorden town centre it boasts woodland walks , open parkland , play areas & even an under 12s roadway , to name but a few . Definitely one to look forward to .

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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……

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To the Mayor of London from Nadia Clarke

To the Mayor of London:

I would like to say something regarding the 2019 New Year’s Eve Fireworks event. I am a wheelchair user, as I have cerebral palsy, so I booked for the accessible area for the event. It has been my dream for years to go, and I travelled all the way down from Halifax. I had to pay for a Hotel and also transport for not just me, but my 2 PAs, so this was at great expense. A few weeks ago I got my letter with the information for the event and it was not very detailed at all. When me and my PAs were heading to the event the map was useless, as it did not show much of the  surrounding area or the streets. On the tickets it said “From Waterloo” at the top, but did not explain what this meant. I am guessing this means that is where we could get to the area,  however, as the tube is at times inaccessible for wheelchairs and also would be crowded on New Year’s Eve, this was not the best option for me.
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How accessible is your business/venue?

Are you meeting your legislative requirements?

Did you know that being accessible can help your business grow?

Visits Unlimited is a Halifax based organisation working with attractions and businesses both locally, regionally and nationally.  We work with colleagues in the tourism industry to help reduce the physical and non-physical barriers often experienced by disabled people.

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Accessible Calderdale Project Free Access Audits and Training to the Voluntary Sector

Visits Unlimited trainers have many years of experience of delivering training to a wide range of organisations, tourist venues, businesses, statutory services and the voluntary section.  We train management, front of house staff and volunteers across the country.

Visits Unlimited is part of the England Inclusive Tourism Action Group alongside Visit England and other partners in the tourism industry.

Our offer to the voluntary sector and community groups in Calderdale:

Free Training to all those organisations who have put in an Expression of Interest Form for our Free Access Audits.

Recent feedback from our local training session

 “ Thanks Chris and Katie for sharing your personal experiences to help us understand more about disability”

“I can use what I learned in everyday aspects of my life – professional/parish and volunteering”

“Very informing and eye-opening.  Thank you”.

Free Access Audits

  • Would you like to develop your community group venue to become more accessible to people with disabilities?
  • Are you considering re-locating your group and would like to ensure the proposed venue is inclusive and accessible?

Chris Cammiss is our skilled and professional auditor, trainer and disability advisor. Chris works is an auditor for a variety of venues including large tourist attractions, stately homes and castles, health settings, large businesses, transport, shops, hotels, outdoor venues and small organisations.

Chris provides a full access survey with a report a recommendation. Groups will have the opportunity to apply for funding through the Community Foundation for Calderdale to support recommendations for access and inclusion.

Feedback from recent audits
“So helpful”, “fabulous audit”, “looking promising with the funding from Community Foundation”, “invaluable”.

Contact 07596 707795 

The Accessible Calderdale Access Audit Expresssion Of Interest Form is downloadable by clicking this link.

Email the completed form to or post to: 15 Savile Park Gardens, HALIFAX, Yorkshire, HX1 2XL.

Chris, collaboration, great folk & the lion’s den.

Longleat, where change is welcomed.

I went back down to Longleat on Tuesday to see Simon Townsend and his team from Cheddar Gorge and Longleat to discuss my two earlier Access Reports.

After enjoying a lovely journey there I was quickly deflated when I found the main Entrance completely blocked off! Proper electronic barriers, clear signage, the venue was clearly closed! Luckily I could see a distant Land Rover parked amongst the trees so I knew some sort of access must be possible but how, where? Being the consummate professional I am I had arrived without Simon’s number or indeed the contact details of anyone relevant to the venue!

Eventually I started to think more clearly, looked around more carefully and found “the button”. Quick press and I was through to Security and the barriers soon began to move aside.

After parking, one more random question and I was directed to the Estate Office. Jump forward a few minutes and now I’m back in the real business world. Simon collected his team, a suitable room was located, coffee was brewed and off we went.

What a positive meeting! Everyone was on the same page and very keen to progress. Lovely to encounter so much enthusiasm. It’s always a good sign when everyone is discussing issues without mentioning costs. Of course costs will be relevant later but it never blocked or influenced a discussion here.

I was particularly relieved to find how much common ground there was. I had indicated several areas in my reports where I wanted to see immediate improvement. You never know how well negative comments will be received in these situations, but all was well, we all agreed, they had the same reservations as me and indeed some changes were already on track.

Hopefully this will be a long-term connection, yearly reviews, training updates and so on. I want to continue working with such lovely venues and enthusiastic staff.

After a very productive meeting, feeling very pleased with the situation we eventually dispersed into the night.

Now, I had been there before, but in the pitch black you can easily lose your bearings. Signs are missed, floodlights don’t quite illuminate the places you want. Paths which are obvious in the daytime become inexplicably invisible in the dark. After a few wrong turns (including a near miss with the lion enclosure) I spotted red rear lights in the distance and set off in pursuit. I was able to locate some paths and negotiate the winding route to eventually catch the line of departing staff just as if I knew exactly what I was doing!

A great day and a very positive conclusion to my work which had started back in November. Katie’s training is yet to come and then we’ll know more about how to carry this great collaboration forward. Watch this space!



Making Calderdale Accessible For All                      

A new venture run by a local not for profit organisation Visits Unlimited! Making Calderdale a place that offers a warm and inclusive welcome to people who live here and those who visit.

Visits Unlimited has received 3 years funding from the Community Foundation for Calderdale to work with disabled people and local voluntary groups, the local authority, visitor attractions, transport companies, businesses and Visit Calderdale.  They are working together with Disability Partnership Calderdale and are really excited to have this opportunity to make a difference to our local community.

“We want everybody to take full advantage of what our beautiful area has to offer.  That includes visitors and people who live here.   We want to make sure that Calderdale is a fully accessible and welcoming place where people with disabilities and their families can enjoy and leave with memories that entice them to return!”

Visits Unlimited

Visits Unlimited is a Halifax based user led organisation who works both locally and nationally with colleagues in the tourism industry.  They run a training and access audit programme across England and clients include the National Trust, English Heritage, football and cricket grounds, large tourist attractions, small businesses, theatres, music venues, museums and hotels.   

Visits Unlimited ran the Accessible Hebden project thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for Calderdale in 2015.  Working with disabled people they completed over 40 access audits and surveys on small businesses to support them to become more accessible.   This project is now imbedded into local strategic work and the Hebden Bridge Disability Access Forum continues to roll out the work and to be a key player in new planning and designs.

Accessible Calderdale

Accessible Calderdale is building on this work and will be working across Calderdale together with Disability Partnership Calderdale to ensure that we have the voice of disabled people, their families and carers, organisations working with people with a range of impairments to have a say in how the project runs.

“Visits Unlimited have been a catalyst for us on the Hebden Bridge project.  We had identified access issues with our Access Group but just turning up was not good enough. Visits Unlimited did a report on the train station and to have their report under our arm has given strength to our argument every single time we have met and we were able to go to Network Rail and the highway authorities   – it has made a big difference.  I have learned a lot – things I did not know or what was available.” Hebden Bridge Partnership.

 “Our disability survey was extremely useful as we did not appreciate the things that needed doing.  Chris gave us lots of useful simple ideas including even changing the door knob on the toilet facilities that we never thought about.”  Pennine Heritage.

The project has developed two working groups which convened in December 2018, ‘How to get there’ with a focus on accessible transport and ‘Places to go’ which focuses on accessible tourism. The groups will meet four times a year and are integral to the project in developing Calderdale into an accessible and inclusive place.

Calderdale Disability Access Forum

Visits Unlimited are establishing a Calderdale Disability Access Forum so any organisation or individual wishing to get involved can contact the project coordinator, Lorraine Beiley.   The group will meet in March 2019. We are delighted to have already made some good alliances with voluntary and community sector, the local authority and Visit Calderdale, and are holding an event at Square Chapel on February 26th 2019 – guest speakers include Visit England, our own Eureka and Accessible Derbyshire.   #wewelcomeeveryone   We will be doing free access audits and there will be opportunity for community organisations to apply for a small grant from Community Foundation for Calderdale.

Contact details

For more information contact or rob@cffc

My day out at Longleat Safari Park

Day one was Chedder Gorge, Day 2 Longleat.

Driving through the grounds for the first time, my first impression was how fabulous the house actually appears. After parking up, I planned my day to include all the major attractions. There’s so much here to do and see, everyone will find something to enjoy.

Staff were incredible again and lots of thought has already gone into improving access.

The House itself was a delight. As often happens the dedicated disabled entrance takes you through several rooms the general public may never see but then joins the public flow along the tourist route through the house. Volunteer guides are in every room and they are friendly, helpful and clearly love what they do, they are all dressed as 20’s flappers and full of great information.

Longleat outside

Outside there are formal grounds – all accessible, endless playgrounds, a fully accessible train taking you around the grounds so you can catch your breath, even an accessible cruise around the huge lake.

There are many eating places and shops – again all very accessible indeed.

Most of the rides are accessible.

The only downside in my opinion was the Adventure Castle children’s playground. Stunning looking space, castle, drawbridge, rope walks from tree to tree, aerial walkways, but all currently inaccessible for many with mobility issues.

But, back to the park and the famous Safari itself. If you have your own transport it all works brilliantly – you just drive through at your own pace. If not, catch the fully accessible bus. Stop off at the African Village, all very accessible, and spend as much time as you wish.

It’s all around you – elephants, giraffes, rhinos, lions, flamingos..

Throw in the fireworks and light show after dark – what’s not to like?

It was a challenging trip but well worth the effort.

Longleat Safari Park and Cheddar Gorge 

Longleat Safari Park and Cheddar Gorge

So, who’s up for some extreme tourism? 

My latest escapade for visits unlimited was to audit Longleat Safari Park and sister attraction Cheddar Gorge.  

Some simple cave exploration in the Gorge and dancing with lions at Longleat – no problem at all for a wheelchair user! 

I have to admit I was intrigued. I couldn’t believe my luck. How romantic, how interesting, but how much of the caves would I see? How would I get around the Safari Park? 

Well, I found the whole experience fascinating and much more accessible than you might have thought. With the help of some very well-motivated staff I had a great time. Both sites were an absolute pleasure to survey. Yes, I saw plenty of features that could be improved but the sites are well worth a visit now.  

Day One – Cheddar Gorge.  

The attraction in essence consists of several caves developed in Victorian times as a tourist venue. With an introductory film show, a modern museum, walks and viewpoints and several shops, there’s a full day out here. 

After purchasing tickets, see the introductory film. This beautifully sets the scene with colourful history, wildlife, flora, what to visit and what can be managed. 

The main cave – Gough’s Cave – after the man who made a public attraction out of it is unfortunately inaccessible to wheelchair users and anyone who can’t negotiate four sloping steps but is very rewarding for anyone else.

Staff helpfully bumped me down (not for the general public) so I did see most of what is on offer. If my recommendations are followed the access will be quickly improved. 

A long tunnel carries you into the rock – Cheddar Man, unique rock formations, twists and turns, audio description points – very special indeed. 

After Gough visit the very accessible Museum of Pre-History. Small enough not to be daunting or boring but large enough to house a huge array of exhibits all displayed with imagination.

The fun never stopped

I was lucky enough to be accompanied by an enthusiastic school party who were greatly entertained by the Stone Age re-enactor who dressed them in animal skins, told them about skinning a rabbit and finally showed them how to start a fire with just a few sticks – hugely impressive!  

My final, and possibly favourite destination was Cox’s Cave. This is a network of several inter-connected chambers. Complex and challenging for some with mobility or visual impairments it rewards those who can manage handsomely.

A brilliant film show showing the development of Early Man in the area is displayed on the raw walls of each chamber, carrying you through his history, changing environment and the animals he hunted. Sound and lights enhance this extremely entertaining  production. Different episodes take you through the cave complex.

Mindful of my mobility issues, staff made sure I saw as much as possible by letting me in the front and back entrances. Nothing was too much trouble. 

A day with Visit County Durham and promoting Access for All

County Durham, a beautiful place.

We left Halifax at 645am heading for the motorway and County Durham on Tuesday 30th October 2018.   We had only been driving for 20 mins when there was a sign on the M62 letting us know that the A1 was closed at Junctions 47 to 49. Ugh. The glorious Sat Nav re-directed us through Leeds and towards Harrogate passing various tourist attractions and venues such as Leeds Direct, the stunning Harewood House, Ripley Castle and on the road to Ripon to pick up the A1 we drove past the sign to Fountains Abbey, Lightwater Valley, Ripon Racecourse and Ripon Cathedral.

This was actually the first day of work for our new co-ordinator Lorraine who got a guided tour of North Yorkshire which she was not expecting. We were definitely going the scenic route and both cheered a sigh of relief when we finally got onto the A1.

Why were we in County Durham?

Visits Unlimited had been asked by Visit County Durham to speak at their annual Autumn Conference and to run a workshop session on Access for All alongside Michelle Gorman, Managing Director of Visit County Durham and Jane Shaw from Durham Creatives.

Lorraine and I arrived in plenty of time at the Redworth Hall Hotel for me to meet the team and the Chair Ivor Stolliday, to check over my powerpoint, enjoyed a coffee and croissant and to do a bit of networking before the event started.

We learn as much as we give.

Watching the excellent film of the City of Culture which showed the range of beautiful countryside and visitor attractions in the area sold County Durham to me! I loved the idea of Star Gazing and taking disabled people out into the open at night.   In 2019 I am booking into one of the many small hotels and BnBs in the region and heading to Durham Cathedral to meet Ivor who has promised me my own guided tour whilst going to one of the many wonderful events planned for the Durham Year of Culture!

My talk on Access for All included an overview of the numbers of disabled people in the UK, the Purple Pound and some interesting statistics from Visit England as well as some inspiring stories of good practice around the country. The message of the importance of training and good customer service came across strongly.   After a delicious lunch I ran one of three workshops each delivered 3 times to a total of 90 people. I told a story of the ups and downs of living with disability and the benefits of a day out, a short break and a night away. The participants were very proactive and there was some great ideas of how to improve their accessible and inclusive offer. The importance of good customer service and a warm welcome was highlighted again.

The Deep Blue Approach

We only went and did it again at The Deep! Accessible tourist training that really makes a difference.

When we got invited to take our training package to The Deep in Hull for the 4th year running we jumped at the chance because we know that we are about to walk into a full on day with an enthusiastic, motivated, open minded group of individuals who love what they do and are proud of what their organisation stands for.

One thing that has always stood out for me though it that they really do want to make a difference to their visitors experiences, working in teams they were proactive in their discussion, considering different visitor journeys and working through how they can support individual needs in the future.

The content that we delivered was filled with transferable skills that can be taken in on an organisational level and many staff commented in their feedback that there were skills and strategies that we passed on which they knew they could use in other areas of their lives.

Making memories

At Visits Unlimited we work hard on providing the relevant content that brings together individual organisations and the visitors who access them. It is important to us that what we deliver aligns with the values of who we are training because we know how important it is for venues and the staff working within these venues to connect with their visitors and provide the best services and days out. We pride ourselves on our training packages and what we bring to the table.

However why not read for yourself some of the amazing feedback we received from our training day a few days ago. Thank you to everyone who attended and being part of the day being filled with education, care, laughter, respect and equality.

The Deep staff feedback

“Thank you for today. This is my 3rd time doing the session and it is always a great reminder that there are amazing people in this world, doing amazing things. I hope one day we can all adopt these values in everyday life. I always learn something new. Again thank you.”

“Lovely session regarding sensitivity to various issues that may arise at the Deep and helped develop confidence regarding how to best deal with and assist people with disabilities.”

“Really enjoyed hearing about body language from Karen. Also really appreciated hearing different perspectives/discussions. You are both amazing humans!”

“Really informative course, leaving feeling a lot more aware of all disabilities. Also now may come over the awkwardness and barriers on not knowing how to ask. Thank you for your time.”

“In all honesty, I came into the building not expecting to learn anything significant. In reality I believe I have probably learned a handful of skills that will not only assist my work at the Deep but my future professional career. Thank you”

“Great day, very welcoming and open to create a great atmosphere. Very educational and worthwhile.”

“Wonderful! Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of today’s course. Informative, balanced, and very useful. Many thank yous for sharing your experiences and expertise with us. Feel free to stay in touch.”

“Very informative. I learned so much about behaviour and communication across all abilities and levels. Karen was quite possibly one of the most engaging and interesting people I have met. Katie had such optimism and happiness about her that was infectious.”

“Very informative. Learned many new things. Interaction from both Deep members and instructors was good. Time allowance just right.”

“It’s been great to hear other’s stories about dealing with children/siblings with disabilities as well as learning about other ways to assist individuals with learning impairments and non-visible disabilities. Thank you.”

York racecourse welcomes us in.

York Racecourse this May 2018

So here I find myself driving back to God’s own country steeped in the sunshine that makes this place even more golden. I’m heading for a second spot of Disability Awareness publicity for staff at York Racecourse.

I already had high expectations after a very pleasant and welcoming session two weeks ago and I wasn’t disappointed this time either.

A very warm welcome from Sam Henderson, my presentation was already loaded for me, my coffee delivered (this is one of my essential criteria), the microphone on, all traditional technical hitches sorted and with the introduction made and off we went….

A very swift, twenty minute intro into who we are and what we do and what we could do for them. Short but plenty of connection and plenty of laughter (always a good sign), with lots of happy faces and a satisfying queue of people afterwards all with relevant questions.

Sam was very pleased indeed, said he would keep all our contact details and hoped to see us again. I’m pretty sure we will work there again in some capacity.

Also had a long conversation with another contributor who had listened to my presentation on my previous visit. He’s based at Ascot no less and thought our disability work fitted perfectly with his plans to re-vamp their accessibility provision there! We swapped contact details and made a firm commitment to meet in June after our current work is sorted. What a connection!

I’m thinking Royal Enclosure, Katie in a fancy hat…… no, no, let’s not get carried away, let’s just say the networking is going very well!

Watch this space!

London’s Changing Places, is it changing fast enough?

London’s Changing Places, our experience

We live in Retford which has excellent rail links to London (East Coast Line). We can be in the Capital in 1hr 35 mins on the train. When we arrive our first stop is to use the fantastic Changing Places facility at Kings Cross, a pot of gold at the end of the line!

For my Son (11yrs) this facility is essential. He is a wheelchair user and unable to use a standard disabled toilet, we feel and lucky that modernisation to the station incorporated this much needed toilet. So, first impressions all good, Changing Places on arrival and a welcome feeling of inclusion, we are, after all in London!

But then its goes a bit downhill… where are all the other Changing Places toilets? How do we get from A- B? Where will we stay overnight? Will my Son cope with the Crowds? Leaving the station gives us a feeling of horrible insecurity and anxiety, visiting London can be stressful enough! If you have a family member with a disability or impairment it is very difficult.

London’s Changing Places Map

We have taken our Son twice to London, planning for these events is essential. We do a lot of research beforehand and use the Changing Places toilet map to find and access toilets (with a bench and hoist) Changing Places are disappointingly thin on the ground for this city.  At the moment Central London really only has 3 hoist assisted toilets – Tate, Parliament and Embankment.

The Embankment facility was shut on our last visit. Parliament is only accessible to visitors and the Tate, well that’s on the south bank so it is a fair trek to travel and the Art Gallery setting may not be your thing. Other stations have CP facilities but not all. There are also a few hospitals which have CP but who on earth wants to visit a hospital on a family day out in London? We see too many hospitals as is!

Our expectations of London’s Changing Places

I did expect facilities to be a little better (than where we live) in the capital but I was so wrong! We visited usual tourist hot spots, London Eye, Trafalgar Square etc. At the Natural History Museum (after searching for the accessible entrance) we were able to go in without queueing, a lot of places adopt this standard and it really benefits my son’s needs. Toileting is the problem, not just for us but for a lot of others too! Toilet queues force people to use any they can! Disabled toilets in busy tourist attractions are usually in a pretty bad state due to this and the prospect of having to change a child on the floor in one is awful.

Changing Places that give other benefits

I dislike my son being in a wheelchair all day too, Changing Places give him the opportunity to have a good stretch as well as offering him dignity to attend his toileting needs. Changing Places also allow us or a carer to use the toilet in (screened) privacy. When I am with my son I am not able to use a toilet myself as I would have to leave him outside on his own.

Changing Places would be the no 1 thing to improve our experience of London. The scope for choosing activities is narrowed and limited without these. We will visit again no doubt but with less enthusiasm. Go to Sheffield and you will find more CP per sq mile than in London…..

It was challenging

We found the bus system favourable for getting about in a wheelchair. I would be worried about using a bus now after seeing incidents and unhelpful bus drivers on social media. We didn’t use the tube (some stations don’t have lifts) We got around on wheels and on foot, very busy in some areas but that is to be expected. I read the south bank had been improved for access for wheelchairs after the Olympics in 2012. Please someone tell me/how where!! ?? We struggled to get onto the south bank via road and lifted our son up steps to Westminster Bridge to get off. It is simply exhausting trying to find everything, going off on tangents and pushing a manual wheelchair. Signage is very important.

We stayed overnight in a hotel in London, my son was a few years younger (just about managing without hoist stage) so we didn’t seek any assistive equipment, but we would need it now. We would need a hoist and bathroom/ wet room. Since then I’ve not really looked into accommodation in London so I’m not sure what it has to offer but if it’s anything like finding holiday accommodation, it’s a tiresome activity.

Booking online accommodation could be easier – especially deals, always feel we have to contact the hotel beforehand to make sure it’s accessible, we get the right room so we feel we miss out on offers.

  1. Changing Places
  2. Signage
  3. Hotel accommodation
  4. Online central website for information (rather than looking at lots of different websites)

Our energetic, detailed and tireless planning continues for family trips away and days out but the more we come together and support each other then maybe it makes things easier and we can get more changed in the bigger picture for all of us.

Thank you for reading,

Alison Beevers and family

Training in Birmingham

We’re on the move and training in Birmingham

We’re training in Birmingham, yes we’re getting more and more out there and taking the voice and needs of our community with us.

From its bustling high streets, the famous Bullring, the beautiful squares and wonderful fountains; Birmingham City is a beautiful place to visit. Whatever your enjoyment it is an energetic city that caters for most and we were over the moon to be invited to support Birmingham City to raise awareness of accessibility with our training.

Our wonderful Chris spent the day training in and with Birmingham’s Football Association, this is the body who co-ordinate all of the junior/non-professional teams across the city. This is such a great organisation and is responsible for a huge number of teams and we were thrilled to be a part of it’s training and development to create even more inclusion.

So, Chris arrived and before his coat was off there was a coffee in his hand; they clearly know how to win Chris over and it was all great from then on.

Chris was there to support their development with an audit of the grounds, building and accessibility points as well as the actual staff training. Chris is great at what he does but thrives on the enthusiasm of staff being trained and he wasn’t disappointed today with great questions, great debates and lots of exploring current knowledge and absorbing new information.

From Chris’s point of view; “The delegates were incredibly well motivated. All already had specific roles such as safe guarding, mentoring, inclusion, diversity and so on, but all were keen to know more. Very positive vibe throughout, a long busy day but I felt incredibly well-supported and I’ve received great feedback since. “

But of course none of this training can and will happen for us without the tireless work of Katie Clarke who is truly one of the most inspiring and dynamic individuals we have ever met and Katie is fantastic at organising the right audits and the right training to match the needs of the organisation. Katie just knows how to make the jigsaw pieces fit together so it all works.

We are a fortunate team who get to train individuals dedicated on creating great experiences for visitors and we thoroughly enjoy being with people who care about accessibility for all.

Keep us informed of your updates, of places you’ve visited and enjoyed and let’s keep accessibility a talking point and at the front of tourism and visitor attractions.

The Impact of our Disability Training on Venues

Disability Training Impact on Your Business

We are not your everyday run of the mill trainers and we don’t deliver a flat packed training programme which is one size fits all because we know that the one size fits all approach doesn’t work.

Firstly let’s start with the WHY behind our training and why it would be worth exploring our training packages.

The Purpose of our disability training for you

Our focus is to support venue staff at all grades and within all roles to develop confidence when working with individuals who have a disability within their teams as well as the confidence to communicate with and support visitors who come to their venues. We must recognise however that not all disabilities are visible and creating an awareness around this supports all staff to develop a positive led attitude of equality within their actions which includes inclusion and the confidence to apply these communication skills at all times.

We demystify some of the commonly held beliefs around disability, we support strategies around real situations and help your team build on a strong foundation of equality, inclusion and confidence.

The disability pound or what is commonly known as the ‘Purple Pound’ is a multimillion pound section of the UK’s spending money, why not tap into this?

This one size fits all approach? That rule has never really worked and we don’t apply it. We have a great team to tap into such as Chris, Chris will come out to you and look at and around your venue, your needs, your current strategies and policies and he’ll support and advise you on reasonable adjustments that don’t have to cost the earth, there may even be grants and funding streams for you to tap into which Chris will help you with.

You’ll learn so much from Chris, he’s got a fantastic sense of humour and a lifetime of knowledge and experience that is gold and you’ll come away from meeting him feeling inspired and surprised at just how easy some of these adjustments can really be to start with.

Then you have the fantastic training team; there’s Katie Clark who set up Visits Unlimited and has been an advocate for Disability Rights and Equality for many years. Katie has a driving passion behind her work and the energy that she invests in you and the support for your team is fantastic, you just need to read the testimonials we have to know how much Katie genuinely cares about us getting it right for you so that you get it right for your visitors.

Chris is our main Train the Trainer chap.

Then there’s Karen Hickton who is experienced in the communication and specialises in non-verbal communication for businesses as well as having personal experiences with disabilities.

We are all driven by passion for equality in this area and to support the education and awareness because; as reported by Scope there are 13.3 million people who are registered disabled within the UK and that number is growing.

The purpose of our disability training for your visitors

We want your visitors to come to your venue and have an amazing day out. A day out that’s made that bit easier because you have gone those few steps further in areas of your business such as your environment to staff training and attitudes.

As parents, family members, friends and carers of someone with a disability or those of us that have a disability ourselves; we have one of those long range methods of shouting out about somewhere we love and felt welcomed in. We spread the word faster than you can imagine because these ‘days out’ for us are precious and we come back for more only next time we bring friends.

The purpose of our disability training in alignment with the UK law

There are laws around disability, equality and provision and we want you to be aware of them, our focus is to support you to be aware and understand the disability act and equality act around your provision and support for your visitors and carers / relatives only but the information we give you is there to support you as much as your visitors.

Who are we to deliver the disability training programmes that we design?

We are professional training delivers that have come together from varying professional background with a common goal; to support more people and business to create an inclusive policy and practice and therefore help create amazing memories for all.  We are individuals who live with disabilities and we are parents and carers of individuals who also live with disabilities.

We’ve come together fusing our personal experiences with our professional skills and backgrounds to create and deliver the best most effective training programmes for venues and visitor attractions.

What we do that’s different;

We deliver a core message which brings you in alignment with government policies as well as your visitors needs but we still create our training programmes and packages around you and what you need.

How we deliver it and the fun we have in our sessions is something you’ll experience if you call us in.

Let’s continue working together in the UK to create accessibility and inclusion for all. Thank you.