Engagement, focus groups & co-production
Our team have many years of experience of working strategically with people with lived experience.
We are trained facilitators in bringing out the best in groups so that everyone feels valued and has an equal voice. We facilitate focus groups where people are given the opportunity to feed into local and national consultations in order to influence change and raise awareness of access issues.
We believe that the requirements of disabled people and their family members are fully incorporated at the beginning stages of pre-planning and design. We have worked with local councils, West Yorkshire Combine Authority, Active Calderdale, the tourism sector, countryside, greenspaces, and local health organisations.
We work closely with town planners and developers to ensure that the voice of disabled people is at the heart of new builds and re-development.
We work closely with Active Calderdale and Countryside Service to promote and enable access to a healthy lifestyle for all. In March 21 we facilitated focus groups in order to ascertain the views and experiences of disabled people visiting parks and green spaces in Calderdale. People with a wide range of disabilities and family members attended the sessions.
Feedback from the groups indicated that participants generally felt that the whole journey experience from start to finish required consideration. They described in detail the actual barriers getting to their local park. This included lack of confidence due to various reasons including, poor accessible pavements, parked cars on pavements, lack of accessible transport including local buses, accessibility of taxis and poor parking facilities.
It is clear that few disabled people are spontaneous about going outdoors due to the amount of planning on leaving the house. The lack of confidence to go outdoors unaccompanied for the above reasons impacts on the independence of disabled people, equality of access and the feeling of isolation.
Please do give us somewhere to go – we can’t get active unless we have places to visit!
“I often feel we are just used to lack of equality and inclusion but it’s not really acceptable, we face so many challenges which could be put right e.g. smooth even pathways, a route without steps, availability of toilets and decent public transport. We are human, we want to be out there, to be part of an inclusive society to feel the physical benefits of open spaces”
In co-production with ACDAF we have carried out many other consultations via our focus groups including, disabled women’s health, pavement parking, Ogden Water, A629 improvements, the new leisure centre, the refurbishment of the Halifax bus and train stations and taxis. The feedback shapes local decision making on matters of access and inclusion that are important to disabled people.
“Making places accessible for disabled people makes them accessible for all – parents with buggies, older people, it helps with social integration and a more independent life”