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New charity to encourage disabled to visit the Dales

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: March 21, 2014

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A NEW charity aiming to help disabled people make the most of living in, or simply visiting, the Derbyshire Dales has recently been launched.

With the help of two £10,000 grants from Derbyshire County Council’s Aiming High fund Gillian Scotford, 48, and Jane Carver, 48, have set up Accessible Derbyshire, and hope to make the great outdoors available to everyone.

The website, www.accessiblederbyshire.org is already live and received 4,500 hits in the first two weeks.

Developed by Reflow Studios in Hathersage, it has information on accessible attractions, days out, activities, places to eat and drink and accessible transport and Changing Places toilet facilities to name just a few.

Through fund-raising and money generated from advertising on the website the charity will also provide grants for communal equipment and facilities that increase and enhance accessibility in the area.

The pair also have plans for funds to be made available for additional respite services and breaks for carers.

Ms Scotford, who raised more than £100,000 for the Thomas Playground Appeal at Ashgate Croft school in Chesterfield, and has been an ambassador for Bluebell Wood children’s hospice for 10 years, said: “Life could be so much easier for so many people with some very small changes.

“We hope Accessible Derbyshire will give people the confidence to get out there and explore the beautiful countryside we have.

“We won’t have all the answers for all types of disability but we hope our website will enable people to make choices that are right for them.

“Our aim is to produce a stylish, non-clinical, tourism website that everyone who has an accessible service, attraction or facility will want to be part of.

“Although initially the website will focus on facilities with level access, it is hoped that information will be added year on year, such as facilities for those with visual and hearing impairment, as the site grows.

Ms Carver, who raised more than £1 million pounds to provide a specialist therapy pool at Ashgate Croft school, said: “I’m really excited about this opportunity to make life a little easier for people with disabilities, their families and carers.

“Gillian and I are both parents of children with a range of difficulties so we know how challenging life can be.”

Further information is available by emailing info@accessiblederbyshire.org or telephone 07876 592415.

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