30th November, 2016
On Wednesday 12th October the Forward Focus group ventured out for the day to Wimpole Home Farm. We had been invited by Claire Adler to visit the site and consult on issues of interest for people living with a disability. We were joined by Gemma who regularly blogs about venue access which you can see more about here.
We were given a wonderful guided tour by Stephanie Turner who works on the farm and really helped bring it to life. After our visit we reflected on our personal highlights.
Wendy kicks us off by setting the scene:
|“It was a bright morning as I traveled to Headway. I, along with other members of the Forward Focus group, had been invited to Wimpole Hall Farm to find out how accessible it is for disabled access. It was very interesting and we learned a lot about the site and the animals. We had to let the owners know how easily we were able to get around. We had wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users in our group and we passed on our many observations. The best part was the whole thing. As a disabled person it’s good to be asked.”|
|“For me, being in an electric wheelchair and getting around was pretty hard due to the uneven paths which can be improved. The visit itself was interesting, hearing about the history of the outbuildings and seeing the farm animals. I think it is a great place for school parties to visit. I did enjoy being away for the day with Headway. Some areas were quite difficult for people in a wheelchair. The disabled toilet would benefit from some transfer supports.”|
|"I enjoyed parts of the day when we were given explanations to what we were seeing. For example, the Shire horse, separating the wheat from the chaff, and the pigs. Being guided made the day generally more enjoyable and accessible."|
|"The Headway forward focus group were invited to look around Wimpole and see what the wheelchair accessibility was like. Having been confined to wheelchair for ten years now, this was like a breath of fresh air. We were made so welcome and it was really interesting. It is nice knowing someone is thinking about wheelchair users and it was nice to get out and about."|
|"My personal highlight was learning about the main hall and how it was designed to allow the wind to blow through to separate wheat from the chaff. You could really get a sense of the farm being alive with activity and hard work undertaken in farming practices all those years ago."|
Wendy sums up the day for us:
|“We hope that we were helpful. We certainly enjoyed ourselves and recommend that people of all disabilities go to the farm. Many thanks to Clare and Steph and a special thank you to Sharon and Jen for helping us navigate the site in our manual wheelchairs.”|
“ The Hospital Brain Injury Co-ordinator became someone who absolutely understood how I felt, I didn’t need to explain. I could talk about my fears and worries. She was such a great support through the difficult days, but could also celebrate the small step successes, which was important to me. ”