LinkUpClub

   Run by people with disability
   for people with disability

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Campaigns

The Campaign Group is a spin off from the activities that the Link Up Club organises.
If we consider that an access problem exists we enter into discussion with the management of the venue in question to see if reasonable adjustments can be made.
The group meets every Thursday at the Chester Skills Development Centre and is part of Scope's day service programme.
Participants discuss points of discrimination and access experienced by the Link-Up Club members on their leisure activities or in their every day individual lives within their own community. The members regularly go out on fieldwork in order to offer local businesses an access assessment service based on the Disability Rights Commission's October 2004 criteria.
It is hoped that the offer of this service will help local businesses to comply with the law and to improve access to all disabled people.
Furthermore, it should help to increase disability awareness and assuage any fears with regard to the employment of disabled people.

Campaigns List

Associated Album photos

Smile before you lose
John Edwards
Mark celebrates again
Mark (back) and Ray
Kenny
Mark waiting for his horse to finish!
Maggie (back) and Shirely
Mark (in the red) watching his horse come in
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A Letter To Chester Races

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

picture

June 2008

Dear Mr Thomas

I am writing to let you know how disappointed we were in the facilities offered to people with disabilities in the reserved viewing area next to the VIP enclosure.

A group of members from our Link Up Club visited the races on Chester Cup day as we have done for the last five years. We have no choice but to pay VIP prices of £25 each as our group is large (24 people) and the viewing deck in the VIP lounge is our only option. We feel that disabled people are paying good money and being treated like second-class citizens in return.

Here is a list of the things we feel need attention: -

Parking bay not reserved as requested –

Gate by the disabled viewing deck was padlocked –

No shelter at the tables -

No access to food or drink –

a distance of roughly 100m. A table and a stack of chairs were in the corridor leading to the disabled toilets - had to be moved to get the wheelchairs into the disabled toilet Tape left on the floor inside the disabled toilets - where workmen had been working. This proved difficult to move wheelchairs over and was a slip hazard for other disabled users.

We would like to thank the staff, whose job it was to support disabled people. They were very helpful as usual and seemed as perturbed about the poor access as we were. We really enjoy our day at the races and would like to continue coming to the Roodee but as an organisation we are not sure we can do so again unless the service we receive improves.

Yours sincerely

Steve Haslam

The Reply:

Thank you for your letter which has been forwarded to me for reply. We are concerned with your disappointment on your visit and will endeavour to make improvements to meet expectations. Over the three day Festival we catered for eleven groups of people with disabilities with no other adverse comments. It is also worth mentioning that the facilities in the general area had only just opened and we are still dealing with issues associated with the new Pavilion and the surrounding area.

I will reply with issues as you raised them -

I assume you arrived in a mini bus. This can drop off in a vehicle tuning bay adjacent to the Disabled Reception and then park elsewhere. This will prevent the need to cross the track on the matting.

We apologies for the locked gate, which was part of the problem of not foreseeing issues, associated with the new work. In future we will issue Angela Rogers with the key. However if we were informed of the problem on the day it could easily be resolved. The shelter issue is something we will investigate. If you require alcohol and I am informed in advance I will issue you with a letter that can be shown to stewards that will allow your movement of alcohol in the Paddock areas.

The same applies to food. We have removed the disable portaloo from the area, however a series of disabled toilets are available at the back of the Pavilion and the disabled reception. I can only apologies for the condition of the block which we are using as the disabled reception which despite requests was failed to be cleared and effectively cleaned prior to racing

We would like to think you return to Chester Racecourse again and can assure you it is our intention to continuously improve facilities and standards.

John Knott

Racecourse Safety Officer

there was only pimms and tapas in the VIP, lounge and our group wanted more choice including beer, soft drinks burgers, pasties etc. Due to the restrictions on the movement of alcohol, arrangements had to be made for a member of staff to escort our group through the paddock to buy food and drink of their choice but this was very awkward to manage. No disabled portaloos by the viewing deck – this meant we had to walk from the deck to the toilets in the new pavilion
This year was very sunny and despite applying factor 30 sun cream some of our members still got a little burnt. In previous year our group have got drenched due to the heavy rain. Most tables in the VIP lounge and throughout the paddock had fixed umbrellas in place why not ours?
our group had to walk along the road leading to the disabled reception and then return to the viewing deck once we had checked in.
arrangements were made with Mr John Knot well before the day but no bay had been reserved for our mini bus. This caused a lot of confusion in the car park. Poor access from the car park to the viewing deck – wheelchairs got caught up in the matting on entering the course.


Chester Races have made a few small changes since last years event and it was a more enjoyable experience for our race goers this year as a consequence . We wrote a letter to the race course in 2008 complaining about a number of things. In a nutshell we thought they could make a better effort of providing a comfortable environment for disabled people to enjoy their day at the races. Especially when you consider they have to pay Paddock prices (£26) to access the designated viewing platform. It does not bare comparison to the facilities others enjoy. Though most of our recommendations were ignored, their was, at least, a safe drop off point and we were issued a letter to enable us to move freely with food and drink to and from the disabled viewing bay. There still were no table umbrellas in place like other tables elsewhere but luckily the weather was neither wet nor wet so we were fine. We won some as well which always helps.

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