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Access For All Working Party

Access For All Working Party

Aldenham Parish Council prioritises inclusion!
We would love to hear from you.

Coinciding with the release of the Government’s National Disability Strategy, Aldenham Parish Council have drawn together a new working party appropriately named, ‘Access for All’. This working party is a first for the Parish Council where it comes to addressing the many aspects of our local environment, from high street walkways to parks and open spaces, which could and should be more accessible for people of all ages with any level of disability – visible and otherwise.

Aldenham Parish Council’s Access For All Working Party is committed to our community becoming a positive example of inclusion.

Starting in 2022, we want to identify all ways we can put inclusion at the heart of activity, environment and daily life. 

If you are disabled or have a medical condition, are a carer, have someone in your family living with the challenges of disability or age related issues such as dementia, or want to drive equality in our community for any reason – the Access For All Working Party would love to hear from you. 

Aldenham Parish Council (APC) as part of its links to the community are aware that as leaders of the local communities of Radlett, Aldenham, Letchmore Heath and other small villages within the civic parish of Aldenham, it should use whatever influence it has to improve the lives of all its residents.  

To this end it has formed a working party to investigate matters independently, which can then be discussed by the full council and then become policy.

Aldenham Parish Council’s ‘100 year celebration for Phillimore Recreation Ground’ in September 2021 provided the ideal opportunity for us to demonstrate progress. Not only was on site disabled parking provided, but there was also emphasis on adequate disabled toilets, sensitive spacing between stalls and activities, and even a special sensory zone provided by Mencap Hertsmere group, Noah’s Ark. In this special gazebo, people who need a quieter space were able to enjoy a little time out to sit down, undertake some simple craft-making and benefit from the kindness of Mencap volunteers who have vast experience of working with people with physical disabilities, sensory processing disorders, Autism and a range of neurodiverse conditions.

In November 2021, Access for All Working Party had an opportunity to progress further and have made the Winter Fair a more accessible event.

For those who needed access and support, the following were provided:

  • Fast track ticket access for those who find queuing challenging, a quiet space for those who may need time away from crowds or noise (please ask a member of staff at the box office for direction).
  • Disabled parking (BLUE BADGE HOLDERS ONLY) in the Red House Surgery car park.
  • The event indoors was fully accessible for wheelchair users.

Events, such as the summertime festivities at Phillimore Recreation Ground, plans for the new cafe at the Recreation Ground and communications to mark major moments for disability awareness, have all seen influence from this growing and increasingly diverse working party. The Access for All Working Party has commissioned an access audit which is expected in the coming months. This audit will focus on key areas of footfall in the village centre, and make suggestions to help the whole community access the village on an equal basis. We look forward to updating you all on the audit’s observations and subsequent plans.

In December 2022, Aldenham Parish Council shared little acts of kindness in the local community in recognition of International Day Of People With Disabilities, to raise awareness of the difficulties and barriers faced by people with disabilities everyday.  

In December 2023, APC staged an Autism Awareness Training session, in partnership with Radlett Lodge School, for all staff and members of the public. This was a key opportunity to spread awareness, share reliable information, and support parents of children with autism and other SEND needs. This was a wonderful opportunity to show our support for Radlett Lodge School (a National Autistic Society School), share in the work of the working party and hear voices from the community about the challenges and fears they face. (A copy of the slides can be found here). This was so successful that in February 2024 we hosted a coffee morning with special guests from professional arenas to support and advise gathered parents and carers.

The next step, as we progress into 2024, is to continue to signpost services and information for the community, highlight our work, such as, our impact on phased works to create a more accessible playground at Phillimore Recreation Ground, and offer more events for carers to gather and find support.

Health awareness days are special days, with which the population is educated about diseases, stress or precautionary measures. Health organisations, health insurance companies, medical associations and medical practices use health awareness days to disseminate information, inform about medical procedures or to offer free consultations. Health awareness days are also used by organisations, such as Charities, to draw attention to their work/ missions.