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Fair Frome’s ‘Access For All’ campaign

Fair Frome has been busy campaigning for better access to public buildings, cafes and restaurants with its ‘Access For All’ campaign, which was launched last year.

The group has just completed its first building review at Frome Town Hall to test the facilities and produce an accessibility review. It was helped by Frome Town Council, which is based at the Town Hall and with the invaluable input of the PACE (personal achievement & creative experience) group, a social group for people with disabilities,

Mayor of Frome, cllr Sheila Gore said, “Many members of PACE are wheelchair users and as part of the wider ‘Access For All’ campaign, led by Fair Frome, they have been testing accessibility around Frome.

“We invited them to check out access around the Town Hall. Their feedback will be incredibly valuable for us and help us in our continuing improvements. The Town Hall is a widely-used community space, so it’s important that it works for everyone.”

Carol Harper, co-ordinator of the PACE group said, “All the PACE members had a very interesting and productive day at the Town Hall completing the accessibility review, which had a very positive outcome. A big thank you to Frome Town Hall staff, for giving us the opportunity of visiting and making us very welcome.”

The PACE group has also welcomed the Mayor to their meeting at Gorehedge recently to discuss accessibility and share their concerns.

Carol continued, “We now know we can email or visit the Town Hall and stay in touch with everything that’s happening that is of interest or concern to our group.”

Following on from this, it is hoped that other businesses and venues in Frome will be happy to participate in a similar process.

Karen Stewart, Fair Frome trustee and lead on the ‘Access for All Campaign’ said, “Audits like this help to highlight issues and are a positive step to becoming more accessible, helping staff and customers, whilst promoting and celebrating the positives that are already in place.”

If you would be happy to consider having a building accessibility review, please contact fairfromeaccessforall@gmail.com.

One of the other areas highlighted in Fair Frome’s  recent accessibility audit is dropped kerbs, or the lack of them.

“This issue creates difficulties for people with wheelchairs or mobility aids, as well as those with young children in buggies,” continued Karen. “Assistance from the community of Frome is welcome in highlighting areas where there needs to be dropped kerbs.

“If the lack of a dropped kerb is making journeys difficult, please also contact them on the above email, together with any other access issues that may benefit from Fair Frome’s support.

“The aim is to collate this information and to work with Somerset County Council in improving the situation for all residents of Frome.

“ Accessibility is a really important issue that affects everyone in the town. Many people with both visible and invisible disabilities, as well as people with young children in buggies, find that a trip to town and its shops and businesses can be a daunting task.

“By making Frome more accessible, all potential customers can access shops, businesses and leisure facilities and those businesses can increase their trade. It is a win/win for everyone.”

To get in touch regarding any access issues or to offer help in working towards a more accessible town, please contact: fairfromeaccessforall@gmail.com

For more information about PACE, contact Carol on 01373 812890 or by email: pacefrome1@gmail.com or find the group’s Facebook page under PACE.

PICTURE: PACE group at Frome Town Council

PICTURE: Mayor Sheila Gore with members of the PACE group at their recent meeting

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