We are very pleased that funding has already been granted for the construction of these new rooms and they are almost complete. However we do not have enough money to furnish the rooms with suitable equipment.
At Thames Chase Visitor Centre and the Broadfields site we are proud to have activities and pathways that can be used by all. We have a fully accessible community tree nursery and all of the pathways around the Thames Chase Visitor Centre and surrounding landscape are flat and surfaced. We also have a partnership with Positive Parents who have adapted cycles available for hire at our site and we are really pleased to be supporting this brilliant project for children and adults with special needs.
Currently our facilities for disabled and wheelchair users involve a disabled toilet which is also jointly used as a baby changing room which takes up valuable space. If a disabled visitor and carer visits our site for an activity such as cycle hire or for a day out and would like to change clothes the only place is on the floor of the disabled toilet. This is not suitable and we have had visitors drive 5 miles to the nearest changing facilities and then back to us to be able to feel comfortable. We do not think this is acceptable and so have been working with Positive Parents to provide these new facilities. The new changing room has a shower, toilet and changing bed with plenty of room to move around.
As well as a shower/changing room we are also creating a quiet room. This room will have seating, an information screen, a desk and a water dispenser. The room will be a place where visitors can use to get away from the public and have some quiet time to themselves in a safe space.
With this grant we plan to purchase a mobile hoist, seating, an accessible reading table, water dispenser and storage cupboards. We also plan to re-lay the path to the changing room from the Visitor Centre to make it smoother for wheelchair users.
We are aware of the health benefits of having access to the green environment and as ‘access for all’ is one of the main Community Forest objectives, this project will enable all our visitors to enjoy and benefit from the green spaces the Forest provides.
We believe this project will also have an extremely positive impact for visitors to this site as it will take away some of the stress of having a day out and allow all users to feel welcomed and safe while they are enjoying all the centre has to offer.
Inclusivity is very important to Thames Chase Trust, we aim to have a Visitor Centre which everyone can use, enjoy and feel safe in. We are proud that our site attracts visitors of all abilities and we are excited to be able to give them the facilities they deserve.
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