Full House in the Pump Room for the Accessible Buxton Launch Event

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release May 23rd 2019

Strong support for improved information, facilities and customer services from those who really know what is needed – and the benefits of a Changing Places toilet!

The refurbished Pump Room hosted a very lively and informative reception on May 22. It was very well attended by charities and local action groups, the leisure industry and councils. Individuals shared personal experiences of the positives as well as the challenges of services and facilities in the town. Organisations represented included: High Peak Access, Space4Autism, Derbyshire County Council, Thomas Theyer Foundation, Dementia Action Alliance, Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, Blythe House Hospice, Moore Care, Riding for the Disabled, Haddon Hall Care Home, Grapevine and Go Ape.

The organisers Scott Russell (Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust) and Sandra Jowett (Buxton Festival Fringe) were delighted by the response and by the wide range of people keen to work together to make Buxton a more welcoming and inclusive town. “It was brilliant to hear what is already in place and to share ideas about how we can raise our game and be known as a town that really goes the extra mile for residents and visitors with additional needs.”

Councillor Keith Savage said that High Peak Borough Council is glad that the Accessible Buxton initiative will help identify the facilities and attractions that can be enjoyed by all. He added that if it helps highlight deficiencies that can be targeted for remedy so much the better.

The Fairplay Signing Choir from Chesterfield (pictured) performed two highly entertaining signed songs, to the delight of all attending.

Gillian Scotford and Jane Cooper (Access4AllUK) used their considerable personal and professional experience to inform and challenge, noting, for example, that:

* The ‘Purple Pound’ - total spending by disabled people - is £249 billion and accessible tourism alone is worth £12.1 billion.

* 95% of disabled people will try to find out about a place before they visit and 72% are more likely to visit a venue with welcoming staff who show that they care about accessibility.

Presenter Justin Palfrey from Parkwood Leisure described their commitment to working with partners to strengthen accessibility for all, and their success in providing a wide range of specialist facilities and services in other locations.

Everyone contributed in the ‘pass the microphone’ discussion. While there were award-winning and excellent services in the room, there is still plenty to be done in Buxton to communicate and share information and promote what is available. The need for training, audits, and addressing accessibility in everything we do was highlighted repeatedly.

It was important to hear from a number of organisations that do not come to Buxton, or can only visit briefly, because of a lack of facilities and services, and the difficulties of moving through the town. The most talked about problem was the lack of public toilets, and the need for a Changing Places facility with extra equipment and space to enable people to be changed or to use the toilet safely. The considerable benefits such a facility would bring to individuals and to the town’s economy were made very clear.

The launch was sponsored by the Buxton Festival Fringe, the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust and Parkwood Leisure.

If you would like to be kept in touch with what happens next/be involved/sponsor future activities please email accessiblebuxton@gmail.com


PRESS: For further information email accessiblebuxton@gmail.com. Picture shows Fairplay Signing Choir from Chesterfield.