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Campaigners continue their fight for Access for All

Cheap Street

Fair Frome, the local charity which runs the Food Bank and other community initiatives and campaigns for improved equality in the town and who recently organised an open meeting to look at access issues in Frome, are now arranging a follow up meeting to look at taking forward the issues raised at the original event.

The original meeting, chaired by Karen Stewart a Fair Frome volunteer who is herself a wheelchair user and facilitated by Sara Butler a Fair Frome Trustee, heard from a range of local groups. Frome Open Storytellers, Changing Places, Frome Town Council, Meincluded and Mendip District Council all gave presentations on their own work and experiences.

Attendees at the meeting highlighted the very wide nature of issues and the range of barriers that can lead to access difficulties in Frome. These include wheelchair users but also many other individuals and families with both “visible” and “invisible” disabilities. Also raised were the difficulties faced by many young families with buggies, in getting in and out of buildings and crossing roads, as well as the lack of, or inadequacy of changing facilities.

Bob Ashford the Chair of Trustees at Fair Frome said, “Frome is a beautiful and historic town built in a valley which presents challenges to many people in accessing services that most of us would take for granted. These challenges though are not insurmountable and improved access would benefit users, whilst at the same time increasing commercial potential to shops and businesses.

“The overriding message from the first meeting that I took away was that access isn’t a minority issue it is one which touches every family in Frome and is therefore the responsibility of everyone to overcome.”

All of the issues raised at the first meeting can be found at https://tinyurl.com/lscl5e

The next meeting will be held on the 6th June between 10am and 2pm in the Assembly Rooms Frome (behind the Memorial Hall, Christchurch Street West). It aims to begin work on finding solutions. Terry Pinto, a local architect will be starting the discussion, outlining the importance of design solutions in new and restoration buildings. Attendees will be able to discuss issues and find solutions to making Frome a more accessible town for all.

The event and refreshments have been kindly sponsored by Gracewell Nursing Home of Frome whose manager Emma Murphy said, “Gracewell are pleased to be able to support this event. Having attended the original meeting we recognise the concerns raised, which also of course impact on our residents, and would wish to support Fair Frome in their work.”

For more information and to register for the event please contact Fair Frome Coordinator Wendy Miller-Williams at info@fairfrome.org  and if relevant, state your own particular area of interest regarding working on issues to be tackled or skills that you are happy to bring to the project.