ACCESSIBILITY & inclusion
Watchet Coastal Community Team are committed to accessibility and inclusion.
Our wonderful Director, Sara Summers, is leading on projects and recruiting for the working group.
Access for All https://www.accessforalluk.com/ will be working with 3 or 4 volunteers to train them in auditing accessibility. They will then undertake an accessibility audit in Watchet and work with businesses, organisations, and events to make suggestions for being more accessible.
Sara and another Director, Martin Stevens, are already working together to review Marina access. The success of the working group and collaborative working for Sara would be going out on a boat and seeing Watchet from the Bristol Channel.
Other projects include buying an all-terrain wheelchair and beach chair for the Watchet community to use and providing training and resources through the Hidden Disabilities Campaign.
We are working toward running Community Workshops for our members, volunteers, and others to attend. These will be a chance to meet new people, skill share and feedback what you would like to see happening in Watchet. Keep an eye on our What’s On to see upcoming events and meetings. And, if you’d like to get involved with the Accessibility and Inclusion Group, contact us.
We also value your feedback on the website and meetings. If there’s something that would help you become a member, join meetings or attend events, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Launch of Hidden Disability Scheme
On the 1st of July, Watchet Coastal Community Team (WCCT) launched the Hidden Disability Scheme at the Harbour Community Bookshop. Friday’s launch is part of a larger initiative called One Watchet, a group that want to help our community become as accessible and inclusive as possible. The Bookshop has a box with sunflower items for those with non-visible disabilities to pick up free of charge.
The Hidden Disability scheme, identifiable by the sunflower logo, was first introduced by Gatwick’s Accessibility Team in 2016. Although it has become more common to see the sunflower on lanyards, users can also wear badges, wristbands and ribbons. Someone who wears the sunflower has a disability that isn’t immediately obvious. That can include chronic pain conditions, learning difficulties, respiratory conditions or mental health conditions to name just a few of the extensive list. The Hidden Disability website explains “some choose to wear the Sunflower lanyard to discreetly identify that they may need support, help, or just a little more time in shops, transport, or public spaces’.
Kate Kennedy member, Sara Summers, Graham Kennedy supporter, Carly Hughes at the launch.
Our launch on the 1st of July was the first of its kind in Watchet but local businesses and community organisations have shown an overwhelming amount of support to adopt the scheme.
Sara Summers, Accessibility and Inclusion Director of the WCCT said ‘the whole board and membership of WCCT are fully behind this initiative and see it as a wonderful way to help make Watchet a welcoming place for all.
Carly Hughes and Sara Summers of WCCT, and Susan Walford of Watchet Community Bookshop, 7 Esplanade Watchet, displaying some of the sunflower materials available at the launch event.
John Irven, Finance Director added, “We are very grateful for the partial funding provided by the National Lottery Community Fund and the UK Community Renewal Fund promoted by Somerset County Council, with the support of Watchet Community Bookshop to launch this project”.
Watchet Coastal Community Team (WCCT) is a Community Interest Company number 10571492, with over 40 local member organisations aiming to create community-led regeneration through membership-led projects.
This project is part funded by the UK government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.