In the photo:
Members of the Eastbourne Access Group outside the Welcome Building in winter 2020 proudly show their certificate for winning the Charity Sector Award in the town’s Beat the Street Challenge.
Back row l – r Brian Day, Jane Burrowes, Clare Westgate
Front row l – r Liz Trethewey, Ian Westgate
What did your volunteers do?
When the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was realised, the Eastbourne Access Group recognised it would have a disproportionate impact on the disabled and vulnerable members of the community.
Recognition of end-user needs is key to effective removal of barriers both physical and attitudinal and the group’s wide presence on internet and social media promotes this. An Eastbourne Access Group Charter pledging to campaign and influence decision makers within the Borough of Eastbourne and surrounding areas, to make places, buildings, spaces and information, including websites, accessible to disabled people living with any impairment has been developed.
How did your volunteers make a difference?
Group meetings adopted video conferencing, opening access to more participants from further afield. Guest speakers from public and private sector service providers were invited to share their experiences and wisdom thereby widening and strengthening partnership working. Q & A’s after presentations giving valuable feedback both positive and negative to decision makers highlighting shortcomings in design and commending good practice.
An uninterrupted continuation of campaigning re town centre development Phases 1 and 2 with emphasis on safe walking and cycling areas, disabled parking provision and winning Beat the Street helped increase public awareness of the group and its work.