This month, my role as AccessAble Champion for Hampshire went up a gear.
I was given the opportunity to arrange and attend meetings with local councillors to discuss the benefits of Access Guides in our local areas.
I began by sending emails to local councillors in Portsmouth, Southampton and Hampshire county council.
Southampton and Hampshire got back to me reasonably quickly and agreed to meet with me at the beginning of August.
Unfortunately Portsmouth were not so keen and have already commissioned similar projects in their area.
I attended both meetings with David Livermore, AccessAble’s Director of Business Development.
The first meeting was with Cllr Lorna Fielker at Southampton City Council.
Ironically, when I arrived at the civic centre, I initially couldn’t find an accessible entrance – despite the fact we were going to a meeting about accessibility. Eventually I found a ramp that led to an automatic door, which I later discovered was the accessible entrance but the sign for it was so small, it was impossible to see.
The second meeting was with Cllr Liz Fairhurst at Hampshire County Council in Winchester.
The building here was very accessible with a wide ramp outside, automatic doors and wide corridors.
Both meetings went well, with David and I managing to get our points across and the councillors expressing interest. We look forward to hearing more from them once logistics and costs have been discussed.
In the meantime, Cllr Fairhurst suggested we contact some of the district and borough councils because it will be those local authorities who would fund the guides in those particular areas.
Therefore when I arrived home, I contacted the local councillors at East Hampshire District Council, my constituency, Havant Borough Council and Fareham Borough Council
So far East Hampshire and Havant have replied to me saying they have forwarded my emails to the relevant departments and they should hopefully be in touch soon – fingers crossed!
So things are looking positive and we’ll hopefully secure some new Access Guides by next year.
In addition, to our current Champions who may have not yet considered contacting your local council – I strongly suggest you do. There is nothing to lose and David can help you through the process. Getting in contact with them is the first step in creating Access Guides across the UK!
Become an AccessAble Champion
If you are a disabled blogger, vlogger or creator and you think Access Guides would benefit your county, then come and join our AccessAble Champions community.
In this role, you have the opportunity to publish blog posts and videos, promoting the benefits of AccessAble. Plus help us encourage more local authorities to fund Access Guides across the UK. Every job is optional and you have no obligation to commit all the time.
We are currently seeking Champions across the UK.
If you are interested in becoming an AccessAble Champion, contact: hello@AccessAble.co.uk
ICYMI: Check out my AccessAble blog posts and videos:
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