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Welcoming everyone to your group

Are your facilities suitable for everyone... or could you be excluding some groups? 

This page is designed to make you reflect on whether your facilities are as accessible as they could be. 

Being welcoming and inclusive is key to a successful organisation. Any barriers to participation should be removed, so that you can create an inclusive and positive experience for everyone. 

The Equality Act (2010) requires your organisation to make reasonable adjustments, so that everyone has the opportunity to access your facilities.

This does not mean that you need to take major, expensive steps. 

Sometimes little changes can make the world of difference... 


Think about your users

There's lots that you can do to help your make your facilities more accessible, whether you own them or hire them. 

For maximum benefit, you need to think about your user’s physical experience. 

This should include:

  • The journey to and from your facilities.
  • How information is communicated.
  • How individuals directly engage with your offer or activities. 

Planning and understanding

Here are some tips to get you started... 

Ask about any barriers
Talk to your participants, workforce and wider community. Take time to understand any needs or barriers that they’re facing.

This will help you to identify the changes that you can make.  
Nominate a champion
Nominate an inclusion champion to help ensure that you consider the needs of protected characteristic groups.

Make sure the following aren't a barrier to participation: disability, gender, age, and faith.
Get planning
Create an action plan outlining the steps that you will implement, the associated timescales and who's responsible for helping to address identified barriers.  
Assign responsibility
Appoint a lead contact or sub-committee with responsibility for ensuring facilities are accessible.  
Get training
Ensure your workforce are suitably trained to support people with particular needs.  

Tips on providing information

Tell people what you can offer - and make them feel at home. Here's how... 

Tell people what you can offer
Clearly provide information on the facilities that are available and any known barriers. 
Tell people what to expect
Provide pre visit information which is communicated to all, so they know what to expect when they arrive and where to go. 
Make things easy for people
Make it easy for people to find your facilities by providing information on public transport routes, times, and the availability of car parking. 
Be reassuring
Promote the steps you have in place to assure people that your facilities are accessible.

People will want to know that they can comfortably join in your activities.  

Physical changes to consider

Think about the following...

Look at entrances
Where possible provide access ramps at any entrances or doors with steps. 
Provide accessible toilets
Provide accessible toilets and changing areas which are ready for use (e.g. not used as storage).

All facilities should have at least one clearly signposted accessible toilet and changing area. 
Consider protected groups
Consider all protected characteristics in the provision of changing and toilet facilities including cultural and religious beliefs, those that require a carer's assistance, and LGBTQ+ audiences.  
Consider any barriers
Ensure that any alterations to facilities do not create additional barriers for other people.