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05 December 2014

Friday 5 December

On Wednesday 3 December it was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and in recognition of that we have been promoting examples of the range of Inclusion work that takes place across our network and in our programmes.

Each day of London Youth Inclusion Week we have been posting new content on our website from our members, our outdoor centres and our programmes.

In our fifth and final piece this week, we're looking at some of the inclusion work that takes place at our outdoor centre Hindleap Warren.

Tim Choi, Haringey Shed young person

Haringey Shed visited Hindleap as part of the Strong Voices programmeHaringey’s group included a young man called Tim Choi. Tim is disabled and relies on a wheelchair for mobility and either his parents or carers for eating and changing. Tim’s Mum – Pat – was very keen that Tim attend the Hindleap residential. With the support of A New Direction, the Hindleap staff team, newly bought accessibility equipment and Tim’s family, this was made possible.

Tim visited Hindleap a few weeks before the trip. Hindleap was able to provide an accessible room with an en-suite bathroom, a height adjustable profile bed, shower chair and a rugged off-road buggy for Tim to travel around the 300 acre woodland in. Both Tim’s parents were very impressed with Hindleap’s adaptable and inclusive attitude and the pre-residential visit gave them the confidence to book Tim on to the trip.

Following the residential, Tim’s Mum emailed Hindleap and passed on this message:

“Thank you so much for all your great effort and dedication to make Tim's Hindleap trip so much fun and comfortable. As his Carers, I was having a brilliant time as was his carer Qaisar.

"Besides the fun and excitement we'd got out from those few days, I was pleasantly surprised how relaxed and engaging Tim was when doing all the activities and being in the woodland. He even asked me eagerly to call for his art tutor to create some paintings with the inspiration from the trip. That gave me some more ideas to plan for his future to make the best of his life.

"I hope there will be more chance for him to do more outdoor activities. He just showed me that he enjoyed the trip more than being on holiday abroad this summer. As well as this, Tim also enjoyed the company of his peers and loved the stimulation both of the natural scenery and the adrenaline rush of the activities. His art works really reflected his excitement after the camp with all the vibrant colours and waves. It could be a career track for him to follow when sharing his creation to the world.”

Hindleap Warren Wheelchair User Accessiblity Test

Following the November 2013 Inclusion Champions meeting, Hindleap Warren instructor John Williams carried out quite an illuminating audit of Hindleap accessibility by spending half a day in a wheelchair. Here is a synopsis of his feedback at the time which have been taken into consideration to make our outdoor centres more accessible:

"What we might have considered to be easy access proved to be quite hard. Ramps in and out of the building were put in place to make access for chair users easier, but no thought had been put into how you could open a door while on a slope.

"Therefore we have had to look at costs for our doors to be opened with an electric push button (external and internal). Some external doorways had a lip, like the entrance to the JD wing in the photo, which was hard to get over for a self-powered wheelchair user.

"Hindleap has prided itself on making the residential experience “feel like home”. After going around we felt that general maneuverability around the centre was difficult and chilling out in the evening would be quite hard without a helper.

"The disabled toilet in the lecture end of the building has bins placed next to the toilet so it wasn’t possible to transfer from a chair to the toilet. Simple remedy = move the bins!

"On the plus side John felt the dining room was fairly good from the perspective of being able to reach the cutlery and serving counter, able to read the menu (but as he pointed out his eyesight is fine) and have space to sit. Yet if the dining room was busy it would be a different matter."