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Blackpool Winter Gardens Leads The Way In Championing Disability Rights

Monday, 3rd October 2016

Bosses at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens are championing disability rights by becoming the first venue in the town – and one of the first in the North West – to adopt a brand new accessibility scheme.

The Access Card, which is operated by Nimbus Disability, makes access to concerts, shows and events much more dignified and easier for disabled customers.

Rather than having to explain why they may need certain facilities or access adjustments when booking tickets, the scheme gives customers the option of simply passing over their unique card details so Winter Gardens staff are aware of their requirements.

This then enables the registered card holder to gain an extra ticket so that an assistant can attend and, once at the event, they simply have to show their card to staff who can ensure their particular needs are met.

Winter Gardens Managing Director Michael Williams said he was delighted to be introducing Access Card to the venue.

He said: “This is a fantastic scheme that helps both customers planning to visit the venue and the venue staff.

“Everyone should have an enjoyable time when they purchase tickets for a show or an event without having to describe their particular disability or impairment to members of staff.
“By adopting the Access Card scheme we can access a database when a person books tickets and we know immediately what their particular needs are so we can ensure they are met when they attend the venue.”

The Winter Gardens was encouraged to introduce the scheme by Hannah McKearnen from Lytham

Live music lover Hannah, 24, contacted the Winter Gardens following a concert last year as she felt the venue was not doing enough to help people with disabilities and health impairments.

And, after explaining the benefits of the scheme, Michael Williams has worked with Hannah to launch it at the Winter Gardens.

Michael added: “We always listen to our customers and Hannah, quite rightly, pointed out that more could be done to help people.

“I am delighted she brought this to our attention and I hope many, many more people can now be assured that the Winter Gardens will do all it can to enable those with disabilities and impairments have a great time when they visit our venue.”

Hannah said: “I'm so pleased and proud of the Winter Gardens for making such positive steps to ensure accessibility for all.”

Martin Austin, Managing Director of Nimbus and the creator of the card, is pleased to welcome Blackpool Winter Gardens to the growing roster of venues on board.

He said: “We were really conscious in developing the card that it had to be as much a benefit for the venues that use it as it is for the customers themselves. The best thing to come out of this is that the Winter Gardens sat down and had a constructive conversation with a reasonable customer. Everyone wins here.”

For more details on the Access Card go to http://www.accesscard.org.uk/

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